4 out of 4 stars
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Ghostwriter, Hillary Broome, is looking forward to a much-needed vacation and belated honeymoon to Ireland with her husband, Ed. As a detective attending the Gang Summit, Ed will be mixing business with pleasure, but Hillary hopes to dig further into her family's Irish roots. Their close friend, Sarah, will be traveling with them, and Hillary is excited to explore the country with her young daughter, Claire. She also plans to reconnect with her friend, Bridget, who lives in Galway. However, Hillary soon learns that Bridget's outspoken protests against a disreputable developer may have put her in harm's way.
In House of Eire: A Hillary Broome Novel by June Gillam, an idyllic vacation is interrupted when dark family secrets begin to surface. In the third book of the series, can Hillary unravel the connection to her family without threatening the safety of those she holds dearest?
Although the book is the third in the series, it does stand on its own. The plot moved at a steady pace; I remained engaged throughout the story. Additionally, I liked the ending--all of the loose ends were wrapped up, though the promise of a sequel was implied.
The author skillfully propels the plot through a cast of well-developed characters. Hillary is a successful ghostwriter who is fiercely devoted to her family and friends. Unresolved issues from her upbringing often haunt her dreams, but despite being plagued by self-doubt, she is determined to be present for her daughter, Claire. Readers will relate to Hillary's tendency to second guess herself. Ed, who affectionately refers to his wife as "Chickadee," is loving, protective, and likable. Sarah fulfills a maternal relationship for Hillary and is also a doting surrogate grandmother to Claire.
I most liked the author's realistic portrayal of Claire. Children's characters are often seen and not heard much, but that wasn't the case with Hillary's daughter. As I read the antics of the little girl who celebrated her 7th birthday over the course of the story, I could envision her twirling about with her doll. The author delicately balanced Claire's childish enthusiasm with age-appropriate behaviors such as whining, tears, and her reluctance to have her long hair cut. The author's careful attention to details regarding traveling to a different country with a child added another layer of authenticity to the relatable scenario.
The book is exceptionally edited, and I found no areas to highlight for improvement. Therefore, I am pleased to rate it 4 out of 4 stars. It will appeal to fans of mysteries related to family secrets. Readers who are interested in Ireland and its history will also enjoy it.
House of Eire
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