Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Whispers in the Mist - Review

Whispers in the Mist (A County Clare Mystery) by Lisa Alber

Rating:  Good
Source: NetGalley

Description:  There's a whisper in the mists in Lefenora, Ireland, a strange fog has rolled off the Atlantic.  Along with the fog comes tales of Grey Man, a predatory faery of local lore who snatches innocent souls into his deadly gloom.  And with the mists come murder.  When a teenage boy dies in Detective Sergeant Danny Ahern's arms, Danny finds himself pursing his own grey man, a killer who becomes more elusive  the closer Danny gets to the truth.  A mute woman may be the key to solving the murder and helping Danny heal his own broken life, but first she must unlock the memories from her past.  Part psychological suspense, part mystery, Lisa Abler's haunting tale of family secrets and broken love won't let you go until the final twist.  (from Goodreads)

Genre: Mystery

Why I Picked This Book: Mysteries, Irish setting, family secrets, plus a good dose of psychological suspense.  And then that cover!  How could I resist this one?

My Impression: I didn't realize this was the 2nd book in the series when I picked this one up.  While I think it might have helped to have read the first book going in so I could understand exactly what everyone's problem with Merritt is and just why Liam being a matchmaker is so important.  However, since neither of those really had much to do with the mystery itself I don't think not having read the first book affected my enjoyment either way.
This is more of ensemble cast than most mysteries.  We do see a lot of Danny Ahern, the Detective Sergeant who is in charge of a murder investigation but we also see from the POV of his estranged wife Ellen, town outcast Merritt, pub owner Alan, and Gemma, a mysterious young woman whose words seem stuck in her mind by a post trauma.  At first it was a little difficult to keep track of everyone - especially Danny and Alan - but it didn't take long before their personalities became clearly distinct and that problem disappeared.  I also liked that while the narration itself did some head hopping the story continued to progress so the primary mystery never feels like it is put on hold. I enjoyed getting to know the characters themselves.  They all had flaws and drama but it didn't seem like it went to much to dark and angst and instead going for a more realistic (and more readable) weighted down feeling.  The constant fog adds to a weighted down and claustrophobic feeling which added atmosphere but never felt too heavy.
The mystery itself is more classic mystery than the thriller I expected from the cover.  Who murdered the teenager and how does it relate to the mysterious brother and sister who have appeared in town?  The mystery unravels slowly and with each page I felt like I knew just a little bit more and felt a little more connected to the residents of Lefenora.  While I didn't feel like this was the most compelling read - not that it was a slow read it just wasn't one that pulled me in and had me reading hours past my bedtime - it was a good read.  Not only was the mystery interesting but it also had very real feeling characters and a gorgeous if spooky at times setting.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Definitely!  I'd like to go back and read the first one in this series and will be looking for the next one.

Would I Recommend this Book?: I would.  I think most mystery readers would like this one.  It's dark enough for those who enjoy regular mysteries but not gore-y or overly violent for cozy lovers.


  1. It's good to know this is a series. I love the Irish setting and think I might really like this one. I would have expected more of a thriller from the cover too. Although I do enjoy both. :-) Thank you for your great review, Katherine!

  2. That Irish setting, and all these references to fog is appealing. I'm glad you were able to follow along fairly easily even though this is the second book.

  3. See I did the same thing as you and I really hate reading out of order so I am half tempted to just try and get book one to read first before this one, but at the same time I did get this one from Netgalley and feel I should read it now. Although I think netgalley needs to get with it and make sure series are marked!!!!

  4. I'd like to give the first one a try and then get to this one. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about it!

  5. I love that cover. And the whole fog/ legends thing is right up my alley. I would expect this to be more of a thriller just judging from the cover, so it's good to know it's more of a mystery. and I'll keep the deliberate pace in mind too if I read it so I don't get discouraged. :)

    Nice review!

  6. I hate it when I start a book not realizing that it is part of a series. It sounds like this one worked out well despite that issue. I like the sound of this series. Perfect for a mystery lover like me.

  7. I'd read this just because of your description of the characters. Yes the cover does imply something quite dark!

  8. This sounds like a good mystery. I also like reading books in order but it is good to hear it is not necessary for this one. I love the cover and the psychological suspense. I don't like bloody stories lol. Great review!

  9. Good review! I might have to try this series, especially since you think it's un-gory enough to appeal to cozy lovers, and doesn't get too dark.

  10. Interesting! I haven't heard of this one before and as a fan of classic mysteries, I must check out the author. Good to hear jumping in at book 2 wasn't too much of an issue.

  11. I like the sound of this though think I'd look out for the first book first if it would help me understand everything going on.