I liked Loucinda McGary's Treasures of Venice, so when Sourcebooks offered me an ARC of her next release, The Wild Irish Sea, I was happy to accept. This is another fun, escapist read with a fabulous location that I enjoyed reading. I think the plot and story are much improved in this book, as well, which leads me to suspect McGary might become an auto-buy for me if this trend continues.
Kevin Hennessy (two n's, two s's) is an alcoholic who no longer drinks and a cop who is taking an extended vacation--very extended--in the remote Irish fishing village of Donegal. One dark and stormy night, some crazy American woman crashes into his solitary brooding, insisting that her brother is nearby and in danger. Because he suffers from a hero complex, Kevin agrees to help, discovers the loopy American is telepathic and her brother really is in danger from nasty smugglers.
Here's what I loved about this book: you know when it's so freaking hot you can barely stand it, and then you pick up a book and feel like you've been given a refrigeration device? OH YEAH. This is sooo like that. I could practically feel the North Atlantic spray against my face and the cool sea breeze. It was heavenly. This is definitely pure, escapist, summer reading.
As for the rest of the book, it was pretty silly. But it made perfect sense within the confines of the story. In fact, this is the type of book I would really suggest you read in one sitting, because after you put it down, it's very hard to get back into the headspace of the novel. Luckily, the book is quite short and a quick read, so it's something you could read in a day if you had the free time.
I really liked most of the characters, especially the younger ones--Conan, Ronan, and Meriol were delightful and added a lot of energy and spunk to the story. The only character I didn't particularly like was the heroine, Amber. She was just so fainty and panicky and clingy. Not sure what Kevin finds attractive about her, either, but that's his problem.
This book isn't deep or challenging reading, but it does succeed in what it set out to be, which (have I mentioned this before?) is a light, fun, romantic adventure. If you feel like you need a vacation from everyday life, I would unhesitatingly recommend this novel.
This novel reminds me of the movie The Birds. A lot. No, there aren't any birds in it--just seals, and they're friendly--so I don't know why exactly it kept picturing Donegal as Bodega Bay, or Amber as Tippi Hedren, but I did. Was it because animals with a freakish interest in humans creep me out, even if they are helping? Who knows.
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