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When the author’s, publicist offered me the book Clonmack’s Bridge to read and review for the upcoming book publication on March 19, I was intrigued by the blurb and let’s just say I can never say no to a good archaeological mystery. It’s one of my favorite genre overall.
The book started interestingly enough and grabbed my attention right away. Mari Quispe is the supervisor of a particular dig in Peru, which collapses under her watch, killing her assistant before they could dig their way to her. Mari is a strong person, well respected, but not well liked, due to her strict (but just) character, a bit withdrawn and secretive at times.
After the accident, even though everyone working with her agreed that it was not her fault, she was still sanctioned – especially due to the strong influence of her father who never really saw eye to eye with her regarding her archaeological activities. There is a lot of prejudice surrounding her and it’s not an easy fight for Mari to keep afloat.
Next we meet Griffin Clonmac, an academic and a field archaeologist with a reputation that reaches all parts of the world. Sadly with this reputation comes also antagonism, envy and deceit, mostly coming from his colleague and rival, Dr. Daley Garvin who wants nothing more than Griffin to fail in his quest of finding the famous – and elusive Clonmac’s bridge.
The next part focuses on Griffin’s struggles to get helps for his archaeological project, the oppositions he comes across every step of the way, his frustration and his not giving up despite the circumstances. I have to admit, at this point my major enthusiasm for the book has kind of lessened. Up until around page 100 there was not much grabbing my attention. I love archeological mysteries, but not an archaeological non-fiction book (when I”m trying to read a good mystery with a suspenseful plot), and this is just how the first quarter of the book sounded like.
I put down the book for a couple of days, picking it up now and then, reading a few pages, and so on – until I got to a part that started to catch my interest again: the part where Griffin and Mari finally met.
I really enjoyed this instant attraction between the two of them and the irony of it all: of course it was Daley’s hand in all this, hoping the project to fail when the two of them are put together. Not so, however. When Griffin agreed to work with Mari – this being the only way for the project to go forward, he didn’t know anything about her. As they met, however, sparks started to fly and they just knew that they would be good for each other – both professionally, as well as personally.
Thankfully from here on the plot picked up some more with that suspense, intrigue and mystery that started the first chapter of the book in the first place.
Once Griffen and Mari started the real work of finding and unearthing the bridge, they never understood where the strong opposition from the church superior came from. Of course neither did we, the readers. Things started to unfold and become clearer, however, once we were given a ride to the medieval era where via several flashbacks, where we started to see just how the bridge was built and what sacrifices had to be done to actually get it erected by the monk who had to pay for his daring enterprise the ultimate price.
Clonmac’s Bridge is an archaeological mystery with a pace that could have been just a bit faster at times to keep us interested in reading the book. Too often I found myself putting it down – without a strong urge to pick it up. I am glad though that I stuck with it as it turned out to be better than I initially thought.
Overall it was a good book with a great writing style and a topic that will interest anyone who loves reading about archaeological digs and get a few glimpses in the past medieval era with the dark past of the Catholic church.
To read more about Clonmac’s Bridge or get the book, visit Amazon