Cover Image: Footsteps

Footsteps

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Member Reviews

I loved this book.  The scenery was beautiful and tranquil and a great back drop for the tense, on the edge of your seat story.  The characters were well written and flowed together smoothly.  It kept me on edge waiting on the other shoe to drop.  Will recommend this to everyone..
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In 1967 Dakota, a young, blond girl college student, from Colorado, is taking a year off from college to spend the next year backpacking across Europe, with friends. Before she meets up with her friends she goes Ireland to look up people from her grandfather's childhood, at his request. Because of the unusually warm weather, the town near the ocean, where the book takes place, is full of young, party loving, foreigners, like Dakota, looking for "love" and fun times. 

Lurking in the background are two serial rapists that are targeting young blond women. In one week they rape and severely beat, three, young, blond, foreign women in this small town, women who were camping or walking close to the beach, the very beach where Dakota camps each night. She does meet up with her grandfather's best friend and spends time at his bar with him and several people who are renting his rooms. 

Another main character is Jack, a young policeman, who is romancing a young, blond bar owner, Jack is assigned to interview the first woman that was attacked and is very concerned that more isn't being done to track down the whoever is stalking these women. Jack was probably my favorite character in this book, unsure, earnest, and wanting to do the right thing, despite obstacles, but with poor memory skills, apparently. Jack has two run-ins with the attackers in one day (literally hits their car with his motorcycle and stands face to face with them, the first time) and when he runs into one of them later that day, he can't remember where he saw the guy before, which boggles the mind. 

The book has so much potential and I enjoyed most of the writing but it seems disjointed and unfinished in many areas. Also, the action of the main character, Dakota, of going to sleep on the beach, right after finding out that three young, blond, foreign women have been beaten and raped there in that very week, seems absurd.. There is also the inclusion of the only non blond in the entire book (as far as I can tell) who is a Chinese English speaking, English teaching, visitor of the bar, who has the most affected way of speaking, peppering her speech with "my dear" in almost every sentence, which was very distracting to the flow of the book. 

The ending of the book has a "magical" aspect to it , which is fine with me but then there is very forced, silly, and not very wise scene with Dakota and a man she's just met, which has her flying out the door, on his coattails, to continue their fling in another country, Jack's romance with the bar owner is left unfinished, just as the book seems unfinished to me.  I would have liked to know more about the killers and what they were doing in town during their "nonstalking" time. There was mention of receipts at the bank and lots of papers and they had access Dakota and another girl when they didn't make a move, which was puzzling to me. I would really like to know more about the mystical part of the book, too. I appreciate getting to read the book and think it has much greater potential with some additions and revisions.  I'd rate the book 2.5 stars, rounded up to 3 stars. 

Thank you to Brendan Gerad O'Brien and NetGalley for this ARC.
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This is a dark, noir novel with a plethora of ominous characters lurking in the shadows of 1960s Ireland, and causing a young American hitch-hiking girl to become panicked trying to figure out what these obviously dangerous people want from her.  She is relentlessly pursued, and the tension literally crackles from the pages as she's subjected to bone-chilling horrors.  Great characters and pace, while the beauty and serenity of the Irish seaside community provides a counterbalance to the evil.  Highly recommended!
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher of this book for an advance copy in return for an honest review. 

A wonderful read set in 1967 Ireland during the "Summer of Love". For young, blonde female hitchhikers it's dangerous as one after the other they are brutally beaten and assaulted. While there is violence in the novel it is not graphic or offensive. 

The story weaves the beauty of Ireland with family, happiness and joy at rediscovering ones roots. There are 3 main themes: the first is of course the serial attacker roaming the beaches of Tralee, the second is the budding romance of a Guarda and a barmaid, the third is Dakota Lacey tracking down the people that her grandfather told her about and wanted her to look up when she reached Ireland. 

There is a touch of Irish magic at the end of the story, a surprising twist as to who the dark, hooded men really are.
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The premise pulled me in: lots of foreign young people backpacking through Ireland in the Summer of Love, 1967. The Irish conversations and expressions, along with some of the local characters, were amusing. Apparently self- published, the novel had a promising basic plot. However, the development of the plot and also the characters seemed incomplete to this reader. I finished reading because I support anyone who writes his or her own book. I send the author good wishes in his future efforts at developing the craft. My rating, 2.5 - rounded to 3.
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An Irish cocktail of vignettes and a tale of an American girl's search for friends of her Irish grandfather. blended with a serial rapist and a clever young Garda (policeman). The brogue is thicker Kerry treacle, but it does hold one's interest to the end.
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I enjoyed reading this book. It had a good story to it. I liked the variety of characters in it. It is my first book by this author. I hope to read more books by this author.
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