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The Book of Killowen
Available in paperback!

An ancient volume of philosophical heresy provides a motive for murder in this haunting, lyrical novel of forensics, archeology, and history—the fourth in an acclaimed suspense series.

What sort of book is worth a man's life?

After a year away from working in the field, archaeologist Cormac Maguire and pathologist Nora Gavin are back in the bogs, investigating a ninth-century body found buried in the trunk of a car. They discover that the ancient corpse is not alone—pinned beneath it is the body of Benedict Kavanagh, missing for mere months and familiar to television viewers as a philosopher who enjoyed destroying his opponents in debate. Both men were viciously murdered, but centuries apart—so how did they end up buried together in the bog?

While on the case, Cormac and Nora lodge at Killowen, a nearby artists' colony and organic farm and sanctuary for eccentric souls. Digging deeper into the older crime, they become entangled in high-stakes intrigue encompassing Kavanagh's death while surrounded by suspects in his ghastly murder. It seems that everyone at Killowen has some secret to protect.

Set in modern-day Ireland, The Book of Killowen delves deep into the mysteries of the past, revealing a new twist on the power of language—and on the eternal mysteries of good and evil.

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Scribner, Hardcover (March 2013), ISBN-13: 9781451634846
Scribner, Paperback (March 2014), ISBN-13: 978-1451634853


  • Minnesota Book Award Finalist, 2014

"Combines powerful insights into human nature and pristine prose...offers food for thought that persists beyond the immediate thrill of a well-told tale."
   —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Hart's novels always mix historical and contemporary crime, and here she mingles the two with particular skill... a textured, multifaceted plot that holds the reader from beginning to end. And a high energy, exciting finale only adds to the pleasure. Another strong entry in an outstanding series."
   —Booklist Online

"Conceives a fascinating situation and lays out its complexities in careful, graceful prose."
   —New York Journal of Books

"Hart's foray into soggy Killowen has a rock-solid foundation of musical language and deft plotting."

"The novel is rooted in medieval Ireland and rich in the particulars of monastic manuscripts... All of this history serves the novel's carefully measured suspense and adds to the book's splendor."
   —Minneapolis Star Tribune

"It has history, as Nora and Cormac discover more and more about the ancient artifacts they do uncover; it has a tricky mystery, complicated enough to please Agatha Christie herself; and it has a real emotion and sense of place that is all Hart's own... One of the very best traditional mystery series being written at the moment."
   —Robin Agnew, Aunt Agatha's Mystery Books, Ann Arbor, MI

"Erin Hart has crafted a beautiful novel, as intricately woven as the illuminations in an ancient Irish manuscript. She brings together themes of history and violence, all the while exploring the nature of communication and family, and probing the darker secrets of the human soul. Hart's characters are beguiling and her language poetic, but her plotting never fails to propel the reader along at a breakneck pace toward a dramatic finish."
   —Michele A. Reed, I Love A Mystery

"Can the arcane science and lore of the Irish 'bog people,' who often died alone and in agony, be fuel for a mystery that actually does what The Da Vinci Code tried to do? A thousand times yes, if Erin Hart's storytelling witchery is at work. Intelligent, eerie, utterly compelling."
   —Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of The Deep End of the Ocean and What We Saw At Night