> Bless Their Hearts Mom: Book Review: Death on Clare Island by Martha Geaney
Monday, May 20, 2019

Book Review: Death on Clare Island by Martha Geaney

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this ebook, free of charge,from Pump Your Book book tours, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it, all opinions are my own.

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Star O’Brien is a haunting voice for the dead, the missing, and the lost.

Star is a successful American information broker who can;t solve the mysteries
of her own life. She comes to County Mayo, Ireland to settle her dead lover's estate and look for her Irish mother who has been missing since Star was six years old. She is on the scene on Clare Island, when a body is discovered. It seems like a closed case involving
the island's dangerous cliffs and drug abuse. Star didn't believe it when the police
dismissed her mother's disappearance as "abandonment" and she can't believe the stories
she is hearing about the dead young man.

Star must separate truth from fiction in the testimonies of those close to the victim
including the head of an anti-drug foundation, a volatile ex-lover, a besotted young art
student, and a restorer of the island's ruins. Before long, Star's investigation becomes the
catalyst for a second murder, and she must work fast to avoid becoming the third victim.
As she uncovers the truth about the murders, this fiercely independent, complex, female
protagonist must also own up to her own past and a potential future with a charming new

Book Excerpt:

Just a fifteen-minute boat ride from Roonagh on the west coast of Ireland, the
towering mountain of Clare Island guards the entrance to the mouth of Clew Bay from
the Atlantic Ocean. GrĂ¡inne Mhaol’s castle sits on the rocky headland at the island’s
harbor. Most visitors come to view the scenery and the bottle-nose dolphins swimming in
the bay. Others come to explore the archeological history, including the Cistercian Abbey
where the 16th-century pirate queen is buried.

Matthew Sumner liked the five-hour walk around the island best of all: the danger
of ignoring “Beware of Cliff Edges” signs that warned of falling to the rocky inlet below,
the steep climb up Knockmore mountain, the view of Inisturk and Inisbofin islands from
the peak, the small lakes, the potato lazybeds, and the Abbey Church. Oh, he would
recommend any of the walks around Clare Island if pressed for an opinion. The shorter
walks made more sense at the end of a day working in the Abbey ruins. Most of the time
he selected the quickest route to the island’s harbor and hotel, where he ate his evening
meal, saving the full circuit of the island for weekends. But he wanted the solitude and
shadows provided by Knockmore for tonight’s excursion. He required the unobstructed
view of the Atlantic Ocean.

As he made his way toward the southern side of the island, he took short strides,
conserving his body movements to deflect attention. Zipping up his light jacket, he
watched for small boats nearing the island, or for someone approaching him from the
harbor. He was ready to slip on his stocking cap, making it difficult at a moment’s notice
for anyone to identify him.

Keeping this last point foremost, he felt for the cap in his pocket. Perhaps, he
thought, he should put it on now, picturing his bleached blonde shaggy hair acting as a
kind of beacon. It had been a cold, dull day, and it looked like a devil of an evening. The
menacing dark sky to the east foretold the storm headed for the island. He could see the
whitecaps rising angrily out of the sea as they bashed onto the beach. He scanned the bog
and the coastline while his fingers continued touching the cap like a monk fingering his

Intuition told him he’d soon find what he sought, so he resolved to brave the wind
and impending storm. It was then he spotted a lone figure, head hunched below the
shoulders. His first thoughts wavered between fear and hope that tonight’s excursion
would prove profitable. The person lifted a hand in salutation. Feeling a little puzzled by
this, Matthew wondered why the individual he pursued would be friendly. He looked
beyond the anonymous shape to the dark ocean. When he didn’t see a boat, he
immediately relaxed, thinking this was an islander out for an evening walk. In the few
moments it took for the person to shorten the space between them, he heard his name
whispered in the wind.

“Matthew, what are you doing out in this nasty weather?”

The voice, dull and sleepy, floated in the air between them like the hypnotic
sounds of the sea. Loose, black clothing draped the person’s frame, making it impossible
for Matthew to discern whether it was a man or woman. His steps slowed. For in that
moment, straining for a closer look, he understood too late that he had made a grave
mistake. His final thoughts were of how much he wanted to live as the water choked off
his breath. Then the darkness took him.


You get not 1 but 2 mysteries with this book, both the disappearance of Star's mother, and the death of Matthew, who at first seems unlikely to be a murder victim. But as more evidence comes to light and and she is enlisted to help determine the truth, Clare wonders if both cases may be interlinked in some way. For the more she seems to ask about both, the more secrets she seems to find. This is an engrossing read, that will have you feeling the salt of the sea air on your face, as you root for Star to find out the truth. But can she handle the truth when it appears? An interesting page turner, that will have you begging for another book featuring Star, add this one to your Summer reading list too!


Amazon:  and


About the Author

MARTHA M. GEANEY is the author of the highly praised non-fiction, women’s
leadership book, Bring Your Spirit to Work: One Woman at a Time. She is also the author
of the Star O’Brien fiction series which is set in the west of Ireland, and the United
States. Martha was born in New York City but lived in New Jersey beginning at the age
of eight. In 2017, Martha and her partner, Bill, moved to Florida where she enjoys
cooking, reading, swimming, and her Schipperke puppy, Turlough.

Before turning to indie writing, Martha was a teacher, management consultant, university
professor, and the dean of a business college. It was her leadership experience as a
management consultant and her research for her doctorate that prompted Martha to write
a self-help book for women who aspire to leadership roles.

Martha’s passion for Ireland began when she made her first trip, at the age of four, to
County Mayo, birthplace of her mother, and to County Cork, birthplace of her father. She
returned to Ireland again at the age of sixteen to attend a boarding school in Castlebar,
County Mayo, for two years. Since then, Martha has visited her cousins and friends in
Ireland for more than thirty-five years. It is her love for the people, the country, and all its
beauty that inspired her to create a mystery and suspense series, set in Ireland, about an
amateur detective, Star O’Brien, who is an American. She is currently working on her second Star O’Brien novel.

Website Address: https://martha-geaney.com/

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