In the teasing prologue of Taylor’s strong sequel to 2020’s The Mountains Wild, an unnamed man waits near Long island’s Great South Bay for an unidentified woman. He has an important story to tell her. She never appears, and the man’s shot to death. The curiosity of homicide detective Maggie D’arcy of the Suffolk County PD is aroused by scars on the dead man’s back that suggest he was tortured in the past. Eventually, he’s identified as Gabriel Treacy, a Dublin resident who worked for an international aid organization. Treacy got the back injuries during his time with another NGO in Afghanistan in 2011, six years earlier, after he was kidnapped and held for ransom. D’arcy gets permission to travel to Ireland to learn more about Treacy, believing that his death wasn’t just the result of a robbery gone wrong, despite his wallet and phone being stolen. A second murder of someone linked to Treacy deepens the puzzle. Taylor’s adept at balancing plot and plausible characterizations. Tana French fans will be eager for the next series entry. Agent: Esmond Harmsworth, Aevitas Creative Management. (June)
Praise for A Distant Grave
“A fast-paced, tension-filled yarn filled with twists the reader is unlikely to see coming. Taylor tells the story in a lyrical prose style that is a joy to read.” —Associated Press
“Taylor combines complex layering of plots with depth of characterization, lovely Emerald Isle color, and prose that often rises to lyricism. . . a practitioner par excellence of literary crime fiction.” —Fredericksburg Free Lance Star
“Complex, slow-burning…Taylor has crafted another believable and intriguing installment of Maggie’s story.” —BookPage
"Taylor pulls out all the stops—subplots, threats, red herrings, warning bells—to keep the pot boiling till the end." —Kirkus Reviews
“As intricately plotted as The Mountains Wild. . . [a] tense thriller.” —Library Journal
“Tana French fans will be eager for the next series entry.” —Publisher’s Weekly
"The Irish setting takes center stage... a solid series." —Booklist
"Lyrical, haunting, and impossible to put down... Absolutely do not miss this." —Hank Phillippi Ryan
“A Distant Grave is an entrancing and expertly crafted police procedural that surges to a full-tilt finish. Sarah Stewart Taylor commands the most complex of emotions — grief, guilt, love — with ease to deliver a story that, like a chill off the water, gets in your bones.” —Tessa Wegert
Long Island homicide detective Maggie D'Arcy and her daughter Lilly plan a vaction in Ireland after the death of Maggie's ex-husband the previous year. Just before the trip, Maggie and her partner catch a case: an unidentified man shot on a beach; he turns out to be from Dublin. Once he's identified as Gabriel Treacy, Maggie calls Dublin detective Roly Byrne to ask why Gabriel is in the States. She gets strange answers from the Irish end: Gabriel worked for an international aid organization; his mother is dead; and he's canceled his email accounts. Maggie's boss agrees she might be able to learn more in Ireland, but the district attorney throws a fit when he learns she left during a major investigation. Maggie only gets a short time to connect with Conor, the man she loves, and to work the Irish angle, before she's called back to the job. The DA's office believes Treacy's death is tied to a gang, but Maggie finds convoluted links to the past, to Gabriel's birth, and his time as a hostage in Afghanistan. VERDICT The second Maggie D'Arcy novel is as intricately plotted as The Mountains Wild. Clues from the past culminate in a tragic conclusion to this tense thriller.—Lesa Holstine, Evansville Vanderburgh P.L., IN
A second deep-laid mystery for Long Island homicide Detective Lt. Maggie D’arcy pivots on the movements and motives of a man who crossed the Atlantic to get murdered.
The man shot in Bay Shore Manor Park, the man whose back is covered with gruesomely distinctive scars, is identified as international aid worker Gabriel Treacy, an Irish national whose boss, Global Humanity CEO Gillian Gleeson, calls him a saint. Suffolk County DA John J. Cooney Jr. is certain that it’s a gang killing, especially when the bullet that killed Treacy turns out to have been fired by the same gun that killed presumed MS-13 victim Juan Bollina last year, and he can’t imagine why Maggie and her partner, Detective Dave Milich, haven’t made an arrest. But Maggie, who thinks the answer lies across the sea, packs up her teenage daughter, Lilly, who’s still traumatized by the suicide of Maggie’s ex-husband, and takes her on a working vacation in Ireland, where she hopes to spend some serious time with her sweetie, Conor Kearney. Their idyll, punctuated by the news that Treacy’s family solicitor, Noel Thomason, has been killed in an apparent burglary, is cut short by Cooney’s summons demanding her return to Long Island. It’s there that Maggie will finally connect the dots between the two darkest episodes of Treacy’s life: his kidnapping and torture in Afghanistan and his search for the brother his unmarried mother gave up years before Treacy was born.
Taylor pulls out all the stops—subplots, threats, red herrings, warning bells—to keep the pot boiling till the end.