Dancing With Demons
St. Martin’s, Nov 2008, $$24.95
In 669, the High King of the five kingdoms of Eireann Sechnussach is murdered in his compound. The assassin is captured immediately as the monarch’s kinsman Chieftain Dubh Duin is found in the king's bedchamber. The guards assume a murder suicide occurred though whispers abound that Dubh was so loyal he would kill himself before allowing harm to his liege; besides conspiracy theory buffs question how the assassin got the opportunity.
Concerned over rumors that could harm the ascendancy to the throne of Sechnussach‘s heir Cenn Faelad, Ireland’s Chief Brehon assigns Court advocate and royal sister Fidelma of Cashel to investigate. He informs her not to focus on who killed the High King but why Dubh assassinated the High King and how the opportunity arose that enabled him to get past the guards. However, Fidelma quickly realizes Duin had to have insider help, but who close to the High King and his royal guards could have arranged the assassination.
This is a great seventh-century Irish mystery that brings to life the era as much through the judicial legal system. With a superb plausible final twist to cap a fantastic historical investigative medieval thriller, fans will appreciate Fidelma’s increasingly imperative she solve the entire case before the Five Kingdoms splinter into civil and religious war. Peter Tremayne is at his best in DANCING WITH DEMONS.