“I know you too well,” Claire said. “You’re wanting the story of Caitlín O’Conor, aren’t you?” “Who?” She smiled. “Her name was Caitlín O’Conor. She was supposedly the great love of Ríán Kelly’s life. It was a star-crossed love story. Her father was a prominent man in the village and Ríán was a ‘lowly county inspector’ and though they were deeply in love, her father would not permit Ríán to ask for her hand in marriage.” He felt his chest tighten and he sipped his coffee to avoid Claire’s piercing eyes. “The tale is that they sneaked around for years; everybody knew it. Everybody except Caitlín’s father, that is. They were madly in love.” She sighed wistfully. “What happened?” He kept his eyes on his coffee. “Did she marry someone else?” “Her father died. Quite unexpectedly. Heart simply stopped. And without him in the way, they were clear to be married.” She brushed non-existent crumbs from the countertop before continuing. “He asked for her hand in marriage on New Year’s Eve. Let’s see, I believe it was 1838. Yes, that’s right. December 31, 1838.” “How can you be so certain of the date?” “Because seven days later, Caitlín was dead.” His head jerked up and he stared into Claire’s eyes. They were as green as the fields of Ireland and now she cocked her head and eyed him curiously. “He’d gone to Dublin, so the story goes,” she continued slowly. “Ríán Kelly.” “Aye. He’d been called away on business. And as Fate would have it, the great flood came while he was gone and Caitlín was swept away. It was January 6, 1839—Epiphany.” Her voice took on a whispered note as though she was telling a ghost story. “There were those in the faith who had forecast the end of the world would occur on January 6, 1839—the day of Epiphany. So when the air grew completely still, so still they could hear the voices of neighbors miles apart, there were some who thought the end was near.” He waited for her to continue. His cheeks were growing flush and he could feel beads of sweat beginning to pop out across his brow. “What happened then?” “By nightfall, there were gale force winds. They moved from the western coast of Ireland all the way to Dublin, where Ríán Kelly had traveled. Some said the winds were accompanied by an eerie moan, a rumbling of sorts. But not thunder; it was a sound never heard before nor since. It increased as the winds grew. And then the northern sky turned a shade of red that had never been seen before. “Well, so the myth goes, Ríán Kelly left Dublin immediately. It was a miracle he made it back to the village at all. He traveled through the night, in the rain and the hail, with the winds all about him. Bridges had been washed away; the wind had been so strong—stronger than anything Ireland had experienced in more than three hundred years—so strong that it whipped the Atlantic into a fury and pushed it all the way across the island. Streams and creeks became raging rivers. Whole villages were wiped out. Even some of the castles were beyond repair.” He rested his elbows on the counter and put his head in his hands. “You’re sure you don’t want to lie down, Re? You look as if you might faint.” “I’m fine,” he said. “What happened when Ríán Kelly reached his village?” “It was gone. Oh, there were a few buildings still intact. The church, for one. But Caitlín O’Conor’s home had been washed away. There was no sign of Caitlín.” “So that’s where the story ends, does it?” “Oh, no. I suppose it’s where it just begins."My thoughts on THE TEMPEST MURDERS ~ I seem to be a minority. Ireland January 6, 1839, the Epiphany and Night of the Big Wind that swept the Atlantic across Ireland, a day many believed to be the beginning of the end of the world. It certainly seemed that way to those in Ireland. It was the day Constable Rian Kelly lost the love of his life, Caitlyn O’Conor, but did he lose her to the storm or to the serial killer that had murdered women in their village who favored her? August 2011 Detective Ryan O’Clery is investigating a string of homicides in Lumberton, N.C. that eerily mirror those committed over one hundred years ago. Is history about to repeat itself?
The premise of THE TEMPEST MURDERS is exciting, the suspense thrilling, and the past mirroring and providing clues to the present furnishes much food for thought. These are the aspects I truly enjoyed about THE TEMPEST MURDERS. However, there were a couple things that bothered me. Ryan is more a stereotype than a real hero. Surly with everyone but his sister and nieces, he runs hot and cold with Cathleen O’Reilly, behaving boorishily then apologetic. Cathleen is often superimposed with Caitlyn. We know why Ryan feels so strongly toward Cathleen but there’s no sense of that being reciprocated other than she continues to return. She’s like a paperdoll, no real substance. Cathleen’s marital status is in question but Ryan continues. In consideration of his recent situation and moral character that didn’t fly well. The other thing that ground my hamburger with these two is they never actually talked! Not once did they ever ask sincere questions, hang any questions at all really, or make an honest effort to get to know each other. These two barely skimmed the surface. Their strong visceral attraction wasn’t enough to make me believe in Ryan and Cathleen as a couple. Being admittedly ignorant about police procedures and such I could be out in left field. Cathleen is a television reporter from Atlanta. Captain Johnson tells Ryan to work with Cathleen on the murders because they correlate to murders in Atlanta. Wouldn’t his best bet be to work with the lead detectives on the Atlanta case? Police don’t always release all their information to the press. Discovering what she knows, yes, but working with her? The suspense, mystery, historical, and paranormal (is it or is it not reincarnation and what does that mean if it is?) aspects were great and made the book for me. It was the character development, or lack thereof, that left me flat and frustrated. THE TEMPEST MURDERS is the first in a series. The second book, The White Devil of Dublin, per the blurb delves into the origins behind THE TEMPEST MURDERS mystery. That makes it worth a shot with hopes the characters have developed some depth and grown beyond where we left them. 3 stars
p.m.terrell is the pen name for Patricia McClelland Terrell, the award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of more than twenty books in four genres: contemporary suspense, historical suspense, computer how-to and non-fiction. Prior to writing full-time, she founded two computer companies in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area: McClelland Enterprises, Inc. and Continental Software Development Corporation. Among her clients were the Central Intelligence Agency, United States Secret Service, U.S. Information Agency, and Department of Defense. Her specialties were in white collar computer crimes and computer intelligence. Vicki’s Key was a top five finalist in the 2012 International Book Awards and 2012 USA Book Awards nominee and her historical suspense, River Passage, was a 2010 Best Fiction and Drama Winner. It was determined to be so historically accurate that a copy of the book resides at the Nashville Government Metropolitan Archives in Nashville, Tennessee. The Tempest Murders was one of four finalists in the 2013 USA Best Book Awards, cross-genre category, and a nominee for the 2014 International Book Awards. She is also the co-founder of The Book ‘Em Foundation, an organization committed to raising public awareness of the correlation between high crime rates and high illiteracy rates. She is the organizer of Book ‘Em North Carolina, an annual event held in Lumberton, North Carolina, to raise funds to increase literacy and reduce crime. For more information on this event and the literacy campaigns funded by it, visit www.bookemnc.org. She sits on the boards of the Friends of the Robeson County Public Library and the Robeson County Arts Council. She has also served on the boards of Crime Stoppers and Crime Solvers and became the first female president of the Chesterfield County-Colonial Heights Crime Solvers in Virginia. For more information visit the author’s website , follow her on Twitter at @pmterrell, her blog, and on Facebook under author.p.m.terrell.