The hamlet of Pennant Melangell consists of a church and a few cottages and lies in a mountainous part of North Wales that is so remote that it is, even today, only barely accessible to cars. It is the ancient pilgrimage site for the medieval Saint Melangell and is still visited by those seeking healing.
The Davison family has come to Pennant Melangell seeking spiritual refuge as their family faces the reality of Jenny Davison's terminal cancer. Jenny and Aidan have visited before, but this is the first time they have brought their daughter, seven-year-old Melangell, to the place which inspired her name.
New since their last visit is a lavish hotel--The House of the Hare--a grand project conceived and financed by local businessman Thaddeus Brown. The Davisons are impressed by the extensive facilities developed with the needs of the sick, weak, and disabled in mind. Jenny is particularly excited by the archery range with modifications that will enable her to shoot arrows even in her extremely weakened state.
But instead of a place of healing, this sacred location becomes a place of doom when Thaddeus Brown is found dead, an arrow in his eye. Suspicion falls on those who have used the archery range, including Jenny along with Brown's vulnerable young niece Lorna. As Aidan works to clear his wife’s name, young Melangell goes missing. Is the murderer also a kidnapper? Or does The House of the Hare harbor more mysteries? And who might be the next victim?
The first of a series of new mysteries featuring Aidan Davison and set in what celebrated fantasy novelist Fay Sampson describes as the "thin" places of the Celtic world.
So often when I am reading a book, I find that there are similarities to other books I have read. It is not usually a big deal, as there are enough differences to make each book unique. In The Hunted Hare, I found every aspect of it to be unique. I enjoyed the depth and variety of the characters, the setting that was so well described that I felt I was right there, and the plot, a mystery, yet not heavy and dark. You are kept guessing who the guilty party is throughout the book and each time that you think you know who it was, you read something else that causes you to second guess your hypothesis. It is an easy read, but the author is British, so there are some terms that one may not recognize right away, but context usually will give you the meaning. I lucked out in that my mom was born in England, so I am somewhat familiar with the differences in our vernacular.
I recommend this to anyone who enjoys a mystery and to those who enjoy reading books with a Celtic setting.
A special thank you to kregel publications and the author for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for this review. As always, my opinion is my own.