Detective Frank Ryan is awakened early one Friday morning in September 1975 by a phone call. His boss in the National Garda (police force) is sending him, a young officer and something of the low man on the detective totem pole, to the small town of Crumm, three hours from Dublin.
Crumm is best known for the lake that was created with a dam project in the early 1950s. A town and surrounding farms were flooded for an electrical power project. Now it’s also going to become known for a body that was discovered when extended warm temperatures and drought shrunk the lake.
The body in question turns out to be a young woman. She’s been placed in a burlap bag. This is not an accident or a dislocated coffin from the flooded town cemetery. She’s been murdered.
That’s the heart of the story in The Lake: An Irish Murder Mystery by Sheena Lambert. Detective Ryan arrives in town, establishes himself with the local Garda, and begins his investigation. Not surprisingly, much of the investigation happens in the vicinity of the pub run by the Casey family, specifically 23-year-old Peggy Casey. She and her sister and brothers own the pub, inherited form their parents, but it’s Peggy who runs it. She finds herself attracted to the police detective. And Ryan finds himself attracted to this young woman tending the bar.
In the short novel that is The Lake, Lambert has written both a murder mystery and a love story (her first novel, A Gathering Storm, published in 2011, is a contemporary romance.) A waste management engineer who changed careers to become a writer, Lambert has also written plays, stories, and newspaper articles. She blogs at Hey, Author.
We’ll have to wait to see if The Lake becomes the first in a Detective Frank Ryan series. It should.
Photograph by Larisa Koshkina via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.