A nice addition to an enjoyable series….
The Well of Ice is the third entry in Andrea Carter’s Inishowen series. In it, Carter returns to the same small town, Glendara; and the same cast of characters, including solicitor Benedicta “Ben” O’Keefe and local police Sergeant Tom Molloy; that have made the first two books so enjoyable. And although Glendara is fictional, it’s located on the very real far northern Inishowen peninsula of Ireland, and Carter’s elegant descriptions of the peninsula, even in the middle of the winter (with cold – and wind – and ice – and snow), make Inishowen seem like part of the story itself.
The Well of Ice has two main threads. One revolves around the release from prison of the man who killed Ben’s sister, and who may – or may not – now be coming after her. The other is centered on a mysterious pub fire and missing barmaid in Glendara. And eventually, of course, there’s a dead body. I don’t want to indulge in spoilers, so I’m not going to indicate whether these threads all dovetail nicely or get solved separately. But in the end, Carter brings almost everything to a satisfactory resolution. (See below for the one exception, IMO…)
My only minor complaint with The Well of Ice, and really, with all of the three books I’ve read so far, is around Ben’s relationship with Molloy, which is less assured and more stressful than I’d like it to be in a book that I’m reading for fun. I do understand that I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to try to start a new relationship given Ben’s past history with a murdered sister and with that sister’s killer on the loose. Even without that kind of stress, relationships can have tough patches, especially when exes are involved. And I also know it’s probably a little shallow of me to want things to go more smoothly on the romantic front, but…that’s how I feel. However, this is not a major issue, and even with that minor kvetch, I still really enjoyed the book, and read it in only a couple of sittings.
As far as a rating, please keep in mind that I try to fight star-flation a bit, so I only give five star ratings to a very few books. So four stars is a really solid recommendation from me. And just for one final note, I think my biggest smile while reading the book came when I read that Ben’s parents were planning a vacation trip for the Christmas holidays. I immediately started imagining trips to sunny warm southern climes, only to find out that they were going to Iceland (!?!?!) during December. Brrrrrrrr….
Oh yeah, and my thanks to the publisher, Oceanview Publishing, for the review copy!