books I've read

Anne Hawn's books

Who Moved My Cheese?
If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans
Scientific Secrets for Self-Control
Just One Damned Thing After Another
The Vanishing
Exercises in Knitting
The Good Dream
The Very Best of Edgar Allan Poe
The Chosen
BT-Kids' Knits
Talking God
The Professor
The Christmas Files
The Finisher
Home Decor for 18-Inch Dolls: Create 10 Room Settings with Furniture and 15 Outfits with Accessories
Dracula and Other Stories
A New Song
All Quiet on the Western Front
File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents

Anne Hawn Smith's favorite books »

I'm reading 150 Books

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Haunted Ground: A Novel

Haunted Ground: A NovelHaunted Ground: A Novel by Erin Hart

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was hard to get into at first, but I really enjoyed it. The reader is deposited right into the middle of the action and, while it gives a sense of immediacy, it is hard to figure out what it going on. The story is actually two mysteries in one...there is a red haired woman's head which is found deposited in the peat bog and a real woman and her child who have been missing for over two years. The plot is interwoven and switches between forensic and historical research on the bog body and dogged detective work in the contemporary case.

Once I got into the book, I could hardly put it down. In the investigation of the bog body, the archaeologist determine that the woman was beheaded and they find a probable date for the execution from an artifact. What is really intriguing is that they contact an elderly local historian for an understanding of what was going on in that locality at the time and then they turn to an elderly woman who has preserved hundreds of old ballads, many of which were composed about local historical events. When I read this I thought of how many of the old ballads I know of that talk about real events; ballads such as Tom Dooley, Geordie, the Long Black Rifle, The Ballad of Mary Hamilton, and Mattie Groves to name a few. In the book there is a pub where the detective, the archaeologist and others keep alive the old musical instruments and ballads which reminded me of the work of Francis James Child who collected 305 ballads and saved them for posterity.

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