Cover Image: The Drowning Sea

The Drowning Sea

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Member Reviews

One of my favorite series, Sarah does it again with another suspenseful tale set in beautiful Ireland. The twists and turns are in stark contrast with the comforting prose. I can't wait to read the next one in the series.
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Did not finish-- this one didn't hold my interest, but I like the other books in the series. Thanks to the publisher for an early copy in exchange for my honest review!
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Thank you Netgalley for the advance reader copy of The Drowning Sea by Sarah Stewart Taylor in exchange for an honest review. I have really enjoyed this series and getting to know Maggie D'arcy and her daughter, Griz and Roly, Connor and his son Adrien, and all the others. This one takes place in Cork and Rosscliff. The more I read about Ireland, the more I want to see it myself one day. This was a really good murder mystery.
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a wonderful addition to her prevous works this was another heartstopping tale of Maggie and her daughter lilly. Very readable and I enjoyed it much
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I was so excited to receive an advanced e-copy of this book because I loved the first two Maggie D'arcy novels. Fantastic suspense, wonderful characters and amazing setting. Loved getting to know the West Cork area of Ireland and to catch up with the detective and her daughter after the craziness of the previous novel, 'A Distant Grave.' 

After discovering this series and reading all of Ms. Taylor's previous novels (and loving them) I cannot wait to read whatever she publishes next.

Many thanks to NetGalley, St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books and the author for allowing me access to this book. I apologize for being so late in posting my review!
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Maggie D’arcy is an unforgettable character. In The Drowning Sea she throws caution to the wind and moves to Ireland for the summer. Her life-changing decision is made easier by the difficult circumstances that led to her losing her job as a homicide detective on Long Island, a story told in A Distant Grave. Her boyfriend Conor Kearney, an historian, has rented a house in the Ross Head area of West Cork, a gorgeous holiday location on the westernmost part of Ireland. Conor is taking the summer to write a book on Irish political history of the 1950s, ‘60s, and ‘70s. There’s room in the rustic vacation cottage for Maggie’s daughter Lilly, his son Adrien, and the Kearney corgi, Mr. Bean. The vacation is a test-run for the couple. Conor wants Maggie to move to Ireland permanently with her daughter and make a new life with him in Dublin, but teenagers can be tricky at the best of times and Maggie hasn’t yet shared her long-term wishes with Lilly. The jury’s out on what will happen at summer’s end.

Professionally, Maggie has been integral to solving two crimes in Ireland and she’s made some friends in the Garda. Although her American citizenship won’t prevent her from working as an Irish cop, she’ll have to go to the Garda Training College for a year, no matter her experience. The training college is in Templemore, more than an hour and a half from Dublin. Conor isn’t thrilled that as soon as they form a new unit, Maggie will be off at college. It’s a relief for Maggie to have the time to explore all the ramifications of her possible decision. But once a cop, always a cop, and mysteries abound in Ross Head, starting with the discovery of a dead body underneath the nearby cliffs. 

Months earlier, Polish construction laborer Lukas Adamik disappeared, but folks chalked it up to homesickness, certain he’d returned home. Maggie checks in with her Garda friends—Dublin detectives Roly Byrne and Katya “Griz” Grzeskiewicz—and they tell her it’s a suspected suicide. But an autopsy reveals that Lukas was murdered. Soon afterward, Griz arrives in West Cork, fleshing out local detective sergeant Ann Tobin’s resources. Of course there’s another detective in the area—Maggie D’arcy. Ann’s not sure how she feels about that. 

Ann hopes that having a cop in the mix on Ross Head won’t complicate things. Probably not. Maggie D’arcy seemed a bit too curious, natural, of course, for a detective, but not inclined to jump in where she’s not wanted. Ann will have to keep an eye on that, though.

Decades earlier there was another mysterious death at Rosscliffe House, an Anglo Irish manor house. It was built in the 1780s, but in recent times it has fallen on hard times. Rosscliffe House was once home to a famous Irish painter who died under mysterious circumstances, Felix Crawford. A local lad who’s now a successful developer is trying to create a luxury hotel/upscale housing community but not all the locals are in favor, which creates tension in the village. The gap between the rich and poor townspeople causes a struggle between gentrification versus respect for the old ways.

Maggie’s landlady, artist Lissa Crawford, is a child of the big house. She asks Maggie to help unravel the mystery of her childhood memories. Lissa has seen bloody images her whole life and wants to know if anything in her past would explain such disturbing images. She begs Maggie to investigate.

The walls were crowded with her paintings, abstract compositions with bright splashes of color that reminded me of Rorschach inkblots. In their simple frames, they climbed the white walls like glorious stains, spilled wine or paint or candle wax on a tablecloth.

If the summer isn’t complicated enough, Maggie’s seventeen-year-old daughter Lilly falls in love with Alex, a charismatic young Polish immigrant and gifted musician. Alex was friends with Lukas Adamik, and Maggie is worried Alex might have some criminal involvement. Conor’s life is turbulent as well: His ex-wife is contemplating a move to Paris to be with her new boyfriend. What will that mean to their joint custody of their son, and might Bláithín’s move force an early sale of their marital home? 

Maggie knows how to listen, infer, and interrogate, and it’s killing her to be on the outside looking in—she’s constantly ruminating about what the guard (the colloquial description of the police) are doing. The Drowning Sea is a multi-faceted story: Maggie’s life is impacted on a personal and professional level. She discovers the power of history to impact the present. Unsurprisingly, no one can keep Maggie from ferreting out the secrets of Ross Head. It’s an atmospheric and surprising story, another winner in the Maggie D’arcy mystery series.
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The Drowning Sea follows Maggie D’arcy and her daughter Lily as they travel to ireland to spend the summer with Maggie’s boyfriend and his son, Adrian. This trip comes at the perfect time and is exactly what they needed, until bodies start showing up. Will Maggie be able to take a backseat and let the Gaurdi do what they can to solve it? 

This book was a much more character driven story than her others in this series but I love it! By the third book, you are so invested in Maggie’s story like I was ready to know more about her next moves and have that character driven story. The mystery was, as always, well thought out and left you guessing until the end! The characters were just so raw and honest and I loved it so much!!
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This book kept me engaged and was a quick read from start to finish! Great thriller for sure. Highly recommend.
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Maggie D’Arcy and her daughter Lilly, both from Long Island, are spending the summer with Maggie’s Irish professor boyfriend Connor and his son, on a small West Cork peninsula that boasts a tiny village and an Anglo-Irish mansion on the cliffs. The village is charming but the mansion, brooding over the town, feels haunted by memories–and maybe even actual ghosts, as Maggie spots a figure in white through a window on the top floor.

Maggie is a former homicide detective, so although she has no jurisdiction in Ireland, she can’t help being more than interested when a body washes up. Strangely, an autopsy shows that the man, a Polish construction worker who was well known in the community, had died 4 months earlier when he disappeared. The police are reminded of a similar case that occurred several years earlier. Meanwhile, Lilly has been spending lots of time with the victim’s younger brother. He seems a good lad, but Maggie’s worried about her daughter, and about the dark undercurrents of the seemingly idyllic place.

The last descendant of the family who owned the mansion is now a painter living in a cottage under the shadow of the family’s former wealth. She tells Maggie she is haunted by memories of events that happened when she was a child. Could Maggie help her find out the truth? And will those former events shed light on current problems?

The Drowning Sea is actually the third Maggie D’arcy book, but the first one I’ve read. It stands alone just fine, although it references events from other books. Maggie is a sympathetic character as she finagles living with a new lover and his son while also guiding a teenage daughter in love, dealing with a new culture and an uncertain future, and solving a crime! It’s a lot! This is a police procedural with plenty of character development, and I really enjoyed it! I’m looking forward to adding the previous 2 books in the series to my library, and hope to see more of Maggie in the future.
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The Drowning Sea takes place after the dramatic ending of book 2 with Maggie standing at a crossroads. Does she take the plunge of moving to Ireland to be with Conor full time or does she remain on Long Island even though she’s no longer a detective. Still overly cautious with her daughter’s moods, Maggie eases into life in Ireland with all of them renting a house in Rosscliffe Head for the summer.

Things are going well for everyone until their landlord asks Maggie to look into a disappearance from her childhood and a body washes up on the beach. Maggie cant resists a good mystery even though she’s no longer a detective, she begins to ask questions but she gets push back from the locals and transplants alike. With Lilly dating one of the locals connected to the deceased, Maggie feels left out of the investigation and walks the line closely to get the answers she seeks while also keeping those she loves safe.  

This book is different as there are other POVs randomly throughout the story from the local Garda to give the reader insight into the active investigation since Maggie is on the outside this time looking in. I had a feeling I knew where the ending was going and what Maggie was going to do career wise and it ended up like I predicted but I’m glad because that’s the best option for Maggie. Definitely looking forward to the next book in the Maggie D’arcy series! 

Thank you @minotaur_books and @netgalley for this eARC in exchange for my honest feedback.
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A richly detailed book, The Drowning Sea, transports the reader to Ross Head, West Cork, Ireland. Immersed in the scenery and events surrounding the history of the peninsula and the current murder this book takes the reader on a true adventure.

Overall, I could not get into this book. I felt that there were too many details and found myself rereading multiple times due to my mind wandering as the amount of detail lost me. The book wandered from the mystery aspect a lot, and tried to bring in the history of the area to ensure the readers understanding, but I found that this was tedious to read and did not add much to the plot.

I did not read the first two books in this series and felt that did not hinder my understanding much, but I am not running to read them now that I have finished the third.

I want to thank Netgalley, and St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books for an ARC of this book.
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Another winner from Sarah Stewart Taylor about Maggie D'arcy.  Though no longer a police officer, Maggie gets pulled into intrigue while on holiday in Ireland.  After the traumatic episode in Long Island, Maggie and her daughter are on a trial run with her first love and his son, making plans for Maggie to relocate to Ireland and move in with Conor when she gets asked to help a neighbor untangle a childhood mystery. The apparent suicide of a Polish immigrant complicates matters and Maggie soon finds herself reunited with Griz, a Garda officer, as a drug investigation centers on the village. Wonderful setting and descriptive prose make this a must-read (and I appreciate the realism in that Maggie, despite being an experience US cop, can't just waltz into a job in the Garda Siochana!).

Thanks to St. Martin's Press for access to a digital ARC on NetGalley.
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This is the third in the series with Maggie D'Arcy as a main character.  She's no longer a  Long Island homicide detective;  instead, she is focused on her summer on a West Cork peninsula with her teenage daughter Lilly, her boyfriend, Conor and Conor's son, preparatory to a planned move to Ireland. But the vacation takes a dark turn when a body is washed up at the bottom of the f Ross Head cliffs

International twist:  A Polish construction worker Lukas Adamik disappeared months earlier, and the locals assumed he had gone home to Poland, but it's his body that is found, The local Gardaí think he threw himself from the cliffs. But Maggie delves into the disappearance and believes otherwise. 

A second mystery involves an abandoned Anglo Irish manor house, where a famous Irish painter died under mysterious circumstances.  Maggie begins to connect the dots between the two sinister events. A further complication is that Lilly starts dating one of the dead man's friends, and Maggie worries about her daughter and possible fallout from being so close to the investigation .

Maggie eventually pulls out the truth of what happened, both to Lukas and in the old deserted house.  

The characters are skillfully drawn - they seem like real people.  Real-world problems of a single parent with a teenage daughter just starting to date seriously, and how to combine Maggie's personal life with her responsibilities as a parent are laid out realistically.  The beauty and challenges of rural Ireland are on display for the reader as well.  I look forward to the next book in this series.

I received an ARC from NetGallery and am happy to provide my own unsolicited review of this very good book.
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I’ve been a fan of the Maggie D’arcy series from the start and was eager to dive into the newest installment. For me, Maggie’s personal life is just as interesting as the mystery at the center of each new installment. Maggie has reunited with a man she met while trying to find her missing cousin in Ireland 23 years ago. They had a passionate few weeks together, but ended up parting ways for reasons that you’d have to read the book to understand.  That mystery was solved in book one, with Maggie assisting the Irish Garda, establishing the relationship between Maggie and Conor, and set up the rest of the stories to come. 

After the events from the last book Maggie is no longer working as a homicide detective in Long Island which leaves her and her teenage daughter, Lilly, free to spend the Summer in Ireland with Conor and his son. Maggie’s planning to move to Ireland and needs a way to break the news to Lilly. Maggie will have to start at the bottom of the police force in Ireland and the training is a bit of an issue for her and Conor. Spending the Summer in the beautiful coast of West Cork is just the respite they all need to recharge. However, Maggie always finds herself a few mysteries to solve. 

A young Polish worker goes missing and the rumor is he either committed suicide or fell off the treacherous cliffs into the sea. His girlfriend insists neither can be true. Also, Mrs. Crawford, owner of the idyllic cottage they’re staying at, has some childhood memories returning and she’s sure she remembers a blood-soaked rag hidden and a governess that went missing around the same time. Mrs. Crawford asks Maggie to look into it for her. These mysteries don’t seem like much danger at first, but the ending had me holding my breath for a second or two worried about how it’d all turn out!

Sarah Stewart Taylor has a way of writing that brought Ross Head to life, with its stunning seaside cliffs and views! I’d love to stay in the cozy cottage described, minus the trouble Maggie encounters, of course. Although, maybe that might be a little fun, as long as it wasn’t too dangerous.

The Maggie D’arcy series is best started from the beginning as the relationships and history are important to each story. I highly recommend the series for any who enjoy police procedurals with excellent characterization and beautiful, atmospheric writing. 

For audiobook lovers, the audios are fantastic! I alternately read and listened to all the books, and I was a little concerned because the narrator changed in this installment. However, Aoife McMahon was excellent with all accents. Maggie’s is a strange sort of Long Island/Irish mix and she nailed it, as the did the past narrator. The Irish accents were good, too, subtle, and genuine feeling, to me anyhow.
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Overall I liked this one. I will say it is probably the least favorite in this series. The Mountains Wild will forever be my favorite and I don’t think it gets the love it deserves!!! I think this one follows the same pattern of other detective series in that the more books there are, the less I care about reading more. They tend to get repetitive and I don’t think Maggie’s backstory is strong enough to carry the series. Overall still liked this one, but just didn’t love it.
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Another great installment in the Maggie D'arcy series.  I always love reading about Ireland through Sarah's eyes, she does a great job of describing Ireland and all of it's beauty.

Looking forward to book #4, maybe there will be a wedding. There will definitely be murder and maybe Maggie will officially be on the case.
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THE DROWNING SEA by Sarah Stewart Taylor is a new mystery which offers a perfect escape to Ireland's rural coast, specifically Ross Head in County Cork. That's where Maggie D'arcy, a former Long Island police investigator, is spending the summer with her Irish boyfriend, Conor Kearney. It's meant to be a relaxing attempt at getting Maggie's teenage daughter, Lilly, acclimated to Ireland and the possibility of a move to Dublin to join Conor and his son, Adrien. However, the remains of a body wash up in the sea; there are parallels to an earlier death associated with a drug raid in the area and Maggie is worried about everyone's safety. She also starts exploring the history of the manor house after a request for help from the former owner, artist Lissa Crawford.  With several puzzles to solve and appearances by characters from past books in the series, THE DROWNING SEA is a complicated mystery. The marvelous seaside setting adds greatly to the enjoyment and it generally works as a stand-alone; I am looking forward to reading more from Sarah Stewart Taylor.
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Title:  The Drowning Sea    
Author:  Sarah Stewart Taylor 
Genre:  Thriller
Rating:  4.2 out of 5

For the first time in her adult life, former Long Island homicide detective Maggie D’arcy is unemployed. No cases to focus on, no leads to investigate, just a whole summer on a remote West Cork peninsula with her teenage daughter Lilly and her boyfriend, Conor and his son. The plan is to prepare Lilly for a move to Ireland. But their calm vacation takes a dangerous turn when human remains wash up below the steep cliffs of Ross Head.

When construction worker Lukas Adamik disappeared months ago, everyone assumed he had gone home to Poland. Now that his body has been found, the guards, including Maggie's friends Roly Byrne and Katya Grzeskiewicz, seem to think he threw himself from the cliffs. But as Maggie gets to know the residents of the nearby village and learns about the history of the peninsula and its abandoned Anglo Irish manor house, once home to a famous Irish painter who died under mysterious circumstances, she starts to think there's something else going on. Something deadly. And when Lilly starts dating one of the dead man's friends, Maggie grows worried about her daughter being so close to another investigation and about what the investigation will uncover.

Old secrets, hidden relationships, crime, and village politics are woven throughout this small seaside community, and as the summer progresses, Maggie is pulled deeper into the web of lies, further from those she loves, and closer to the truth.

I’ve really enjoyed the other books in this series, and I loved this one, too. I enjoyed the small-town, Irish setting so much! It felt very vivid and realistic to me, and I enjoyed Maggie’s forays into the town and making friends there. I even shared her worry over Lilly and what she was up to! I didn’t figure out who the killer was before the reveal, either, which almost never happens. I highly recommend this series, and this was an excellent read!

Sarah Stewart Taylor lives in Vermont. The Drowning Sea is her newest novel.

(Galley courtesy of St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.)
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Of the three books, so far, in this series, this is my least favorite. I think it's due to the transition for Maggie who is trying to decide what she wants to do. now that she has retired from the police force. She and her daughter Lilly have rented a cottage on the West Cork Peninsula to share with her boyfriend Conor and his son, Adrien. Will she find a way to continue her career in law enforcement by joining the Garda? As that big question looms over her she becomes involved with both a new case and a decades old one. The body of a man missing for months washes up on the beach - accident or homicide? Then her landlady asks for her help finding answers about a decades old disappearance connected to Rosscliffe Manor, an abandoned manor house slatted for redevelopment into a hotel. Some locals are happy about it but others not at all. Which may be hiding a decades old secret?
The atmosphere of the Irish village, the inhabitants and various issues addressed make for an enjoyable read. There are lots of characters to keep straight and that slowed the pace a bit as I tried to stay focused on their relationships. The setting alone makes this a great read. My thanks to the publisher Minotaur and to NetGalley for giving me an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
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This is the third book in the Maggie D’arcy series and I continue to be a big fan of these books. I loved that this one took place entirely in Ireland and the setting on the West Cork peninsula had me ready to pack my bags and fly east.

My reading has been hit or miss recently as far as finding something to hold my attention and this one was definitely a hit! If you haven’t read this series, I’d highly recommend starting with book one- The Mountains Wild. I reread it before picking up The Drowning Sea and it was great to be back in Dublin with Maggie and co.
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