A woman hoping to meet her biological father is embroiled in village scandal and murder.
Merrit McCallum grew up in the shadow of a photograph of the old Irish church in the village where her parents met. She’s already lost her mother; after her stepfather’s death in California, Merrit travels to County Clare and the home of Liam Donellan, the matchmaker of Lisfenora. Liam, who has a rare gift for bringing couples together, is presiding over his annual matchmaking festival, though he’s never found lasting love himself. He fathered two daughters by different women yet is still unmarried and lives only with his adopted son, Kevin. After Liam’s birthday party, Lonnie O’Brien, heir to a prominent local family, is found dead in his Internet Café, and Merrit is one of the suspects. The O’Brien family, however, wants DS Danny Ahern to focus only on Kevin, who had a grudge against Lonnie. It’s a hard assignment for Danny. Kevin, one of his closest friends, fears being displaced by both Merrit and her half sister, who, like Merrit, has come to Lisfenora to find the answers about her mother and about Liam. Blackmail schemes, a second murder, and odd clues like a cake and a bloody afghan point to heartbreak, revenge, and past and present betrayal near the ruins of Our Lady of the Kilmoon.
In her moody debut, Alber skillfully uses many shades of gray to draw complex characters who discover how cruel love can be.