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Valley of the Shadow (Sister Fidelma Mysteries Book 6)
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As Fidelma proceeds through the valley of the shadow, she faces personal danger in the stunning sixth novel of the Sister Fidelma series

About the Author

Peter Tremayne is the fiction pseudonym of a well-known authority on the ancient Celts, who has utilised his knowledge of the Brehon law system and 7th-Century Irish society to create a new concept in detective fiction.

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Seventh-centruy Irish princess Fidelma (The Spider's Web), late of the sisterhood at Kldare, negotiates witha pagan worrror-chieftain on the behalf of her king/brother. Hidden Valley, however, she and companion Brother Eadulf discover 33 ritually slaughtered young men laid out in a circle. Since her object is to establish a Christian church and school in the area, Fidelma vows to investigate the crime. Firmly set in a wild, dangerous time but featuring well bred and educated protagonists, this historical teaches as it entertains. Recommended.

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. (Mar.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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