Haunted Ground

Version: Abridged
Author: Erin Hart
Narrator: John Keating
Genres: Fiction & Literature, Mystery, Thriller & Horror
Publisher: Random House (Audio)
Published In: May 2003
# of Units: 5 CDs
Length: 6 hours
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A dazzling debut -- already an international publishing sensation -- combining forensics, history, archaeology, and suspense.

Introducing Erin Hart, who brings the beauty, poignancy, mystery, and romance of the Irish countryside to her richly nuanced first novel.

When farmers cutting turf in a peat bog make a grisly discovery -- the perfectly preserved severed head of a young woman with long red hair -- Irish archaeologist Cormac Maguire and American pathologist Nora Gavin team up in a case that will open old wounds.

Peat bogs prevent decay, so the decapitated young woman could have been buried for two decades, two centuries, or even much longer. Who is she? When was she killed? The extraordinary find leads to even more disturbing puzzles. The red-haired girl is clearly a case for the archaeologists, not the police. Still, her tale may have shocking ties to the present, and Cormac and Nora must use cutting-edge techniques to preserve ancient evidence.

And the red-haired girl is not the only enigma in this remote corner of Galway. Two years earlier, Mina Osborne, the local landowner's Indian-born wife, went for a walk with her young son and never returned. Did Mina simply decide to disappear, or did mother and child become lost in the treacherous bog? Could they, too, be hidden in its depths, only to be discovered centuries from now? Or did the landowner, Hugh Osborne, murder his family, as some villagers suspect?

Bracklyn House, Osborne's stately home, holds many secrets for Nora and Cormac and policeman Garrett Devaney. But time is running out. Devaney's superiors want him off the Osborne case. Now. He wants to stay and find a killer.

Meticulously crafted and resonating with traditional music and folklore, Haunted Ground celebrates Ireland's turbulent history, revealing the eternal, subliminal connections between past and present in a riveting novel that heralds the arrival of a bright new crime-writing star.

Reviews (8)

Haunted Bround

Written by Jessica Campbell-Smith on January 24th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Pretty good book read by a great narrator. Love his sexy Irish accent. The story had an interesting plot and both likeable and unlikable characters. Definitely kept me wanting to know who did what, and it delivered.

Haunted Ground

Written by Melissa Maurice on September 6th, 2005

  • Book Rating: 3/5

The Irish bog makes a perfect setting for a murder mystery and though this tale was entertaining, I found the ending less climatic and somehow lacking in the drama and resolution I had been expecting.

Haunted Ground

Written by Allison Nagel from Christiansburg, VA on April 7th, 2005

  • Book Rating: 4/5

I really enjoyed this book. It kept me interested and it was very exciting.

Haunted Ground

Written by Clarissa Gaasch on March 11th, 2005

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Very good story. The reader's voice was soothing & lyrical and held my attention throughout.


Written by Jenifer Moore on February 1st, 2005

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Very interesting, wouldn't say haunting but definitely kept me listening. Well thought out plot and excellent writing. The narrator had an incredible array of accents!

Great characters, engaging story, but falls down at the end

Written by Ken Crosson from Marietta, GA on January 10th, 2005

  • Book Rating: 4/5

This one kept me engaged all the way to the end. The only problem was exactly that: the end. It seemed the author wasn't sure how to lead the characters through solving what appeared to be an insoluble mystery, so she resorted to an improbable, and rushed, deus ex machina that tainted my enjoyment of the story. I shouldn't complain too much, because I probably would have been more dissatisfied if the author had left the mystery unsolved. She develops some great characters, and chooses a terrific starting point in forensic archaeology. I would not be surprised to see some of these characters and themes reappear in future works by Hart.

Haunted Ground

Written by J Tillman from Gilbert, AZ on November 29th, 2004

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Very enjoyable - multiple, similar plots in different times (far past, recent past, and present), archaeological information (superficial but a nice touch), and little nuggets of Irish history combined to make this interesting, but not too complex for listening. Well read also.

Hauntingly Good!

Written by DLCT on November 27th, 2004

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Wow! First of all, I loved the narrator's accent. Secondly, the multiple plot lines are deftly woven and each is compelling. The suspense built from the initial vignette and by the end I still hadn't figured it all out (even though I usually do). Finally the characterizations were believeable and well-drawn. All in all, a fine story.