Super-sleuth Sister Fidelma faces personal danger as proceeds through the valley of the shadow in the stunning sixth historical mystery by Peter Tremayne.
PRAISE FOR VALLEY OF THE SHADOW: 'Tremayne's discriminating sense of history distinguishing ever-finer conflicts... creates an equally complex mystery for history-mad readers with eyes as sharp as Fidelma's' Kirkus Review
Sister Fidelma has been sent by her brother, king of Cashel, to Laisre, chieftain of Gleann Geis - the 'forbidden valley' - to negotiate permission to build a Christian church and school in his territory, replacing the pagan Druidic sanctuaries. Laisre is known to be hostile to the new religion, and Fidelma knows her mission will be no easy task.
Entering Gleann Geis with the Saxon Brother Eadulf, she comes across the naked, slain bodies of thirty-three young men, positioned in a sunwise circle. Each body bears the marks of stabbing and garrotting; every skull has been smashed. Who is reponsible for such evil, if not the heathen Laisre?
What readers are saying about VALLEY OF THE SHADOW:
'A brilliantly twisting tale of human failings and their defeat by the truth'
'An excellent story, full of atmosphere'
'A tale with many twists and turns that captivated me from the first page. I could not put it down'
Sister Fidelma and Brother Eadulf, her Saxon monk sidekick, are on their way to Gleann Geis, a remote pagan community in southwest Ireland, when they run across a horrible massacre: 33 young men have been ritually killed, their bodies laid out in a pattern peculiar to the ancient Druid faith. (As her fans know from the five novels in this well-researched series, most recently The Spider's Web, religious and political tensions simmer in seventh-century Ireland, though with its sophisticated legal system and fair treatment of women, it is one of Dark Age Europe's more civilized societies.) At Gleann Geis, the pair stumble on another murder, for which Sister Fidelma is arrested. The meek Eadulf has an easier time mounting a clever defense of his mentor than he does fending off the advances of the local chieftain's precocious 14-year-old niece. Released from confinement, Sister Fidelma is free to make full use of her sharp analytical powers to figure out who is behind the massacre and the seemingly unrelated murder of which she was unjustly accused. She does not disappoint. At the climax, the religieuse explains all, untangling a complex web of intrigue that moves from one surprising revelation to the next. While adept at plotting, Tremayne has an annoying habit of overusing adverbs. A door opens "boisterously," a mouth droops "pessimistically," while characters smile "thinly," "wanly," "warmly," "gravely," "grimly," "apologetically" and "maliciously." In the future one hopes that the author--or his editor--will put as much faith in plain verbs as Sister Fidelma does in her God.