A Carol for the Dead(2005)
A novel by Patrick Dunne
Her body looked like metal that had been charred and twisted in a fire. But when I reached out and took her hand the skin was like moist leather, the way my gloves became when I'd been throwing snowballs as a child. And just then snow as fine as flour began sifting down, speckling the black earth and the woman compressed within it.' When archaeologist Illaun Bowe is called to the find of an ancient body on a snowy day near Newgrange, she feels that familiar flicker of professional excitement. But other people appear to be equally fascinated by the discovery, in particular local hotelier Frank Traynor, who is determined to do everything he can to prevent Illaun from finding out the truth about the body. And then Traynor is mysteriously and gruesomely killed, eyes gouged out, mouth stuffed with holly, in what seems like the re-enactment of an ancient ritual killing. As the countryside succumbs to the icy grip of winter, Illaun discovers that there are more than bodies buried in the soil around Newgrange, but secrets even more ancient. All roads lead to Grange Abbey and to a mysterious order of nuns, whose practices do not seem to be strictly Christian...
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