Reviews

The Mountains Wild by Sarah Stewart Taylor

poorashleu's review

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4.0

Although the narrator did not work for me. A random accent thrown in randomly, so, so randomly. The story itself did work for me. The little things that you don't think will matter but ultimately do.

louetta's review against another edition

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3.0

What I liked: I partly chose this book because it took place in Ireland. I loved reading about the scenery and the culture and history of Ireland. The characters were well developed and the wonderful plot is the only thing that kept me going in this book. I had to know what happened!
What I didn't like: the writing. It was slow repetitive and seemed to drag a lot. It failed to keep my attention so I kept wandering to other things and had to keep rereading what I had just read. Were it not for the plot I doubt I would have been able to finish

I didn't "hate" the book, just didn't love it either.
Giving the book 3 stars.

Thanks to NetGalley, the Author and publisher for an ARC copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

novelesque_life's review

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4.0

RATING: 4 STARS

The Mountains Wild stands out from other mystery/police procedural in that it takes place in two timelines (present day and 1990s) and two different locations (New York and Ireland). Earlier this year I read and loved both [b:Sweet Little Lies|35396595|Sweet Little Lies (Cat Kinsella, #1)|Caz Frear|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1529042737l/35396595._SX50_.jpg|56425536] and [b:The Vanishing Season|30654172|The Vanishing Season (Ellery Hathaway, #1)|Joanna Schaffhausen|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1487466538l/30654172._SY75_.jpg|51199114], and this one is a little bit like them. I like when authors take a personal look at the detective's life. I am a sucker for dark twisted flawed characters - men and women - so how could this one not be a good one. Taylor does not not disappoint and I am so excited to read the sequel soon!

booktraveller4life's review against another edition

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adventurous mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.5

wanderaven's review against another edition

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4.0

I've been trying to take comparisons to Tana French with a chunk of salt the size of, well, this book. Throw in Kate Atkinson, too, and you've created so much angst in me.... I want to believe (who doesn't want to believe?) but year after year and book after book it's simply not true (because of course it isn't), and so (intellectually, anyway), I try to approach these books with an understanding that the publisher is simply trying to draw in the French and Atkinson fans (here I am! hand raised!), and it's not the fault of the author, and I must temper my expectations and go in knowing that there must be elements on which they're basing these comparisons and expect that it can all go wrong (and it has) or that I can appreciate the novels for their own strengths.

And then also, we're dealing with the reality that while I was attracted to this one on it's own merits, like the synopsis, there's a likelihood that the French/Atkinson comparisons influenced my decision to request the Netgalley from St. Martin's/Minotaur when I hadn't requested an ARC for months.

And that got my foot in the door for a novel I throughly enjoyed. It's not French, and it's not Atkinson, but it does remind me of earlier Atkinson; of the the before-Brodie books, which is interesting since this is a crime/procedural more along the Brodie lines. It seemed clear to me that Stewart Taylor knows her locations (Long Island/New York and Dublin/the Irish countryside), and I wasn't surprised to read her bio that she's lived in both places. However, it's certainly not in an intrusive way. She cleverly weaves placenames and landmarks in with the sensations and memories of a place. I've been to Dublin, and though it's been a long time (and she described both current-day Dublin and also past Dublin, almost precisely in time when I visited), her immersion in the city took me right back to my own experiences.

There were a couple of elements that might've dipped it slightly below four stars for me, if we were working on that sort of meticulous system here, but it would be so incremental, it's not worth the quibble.
Spoiler (though kind of also not really a spoiler) Twenty minutes after I finished it, I realized there was an element that, unless I missed something, was unresolved at the conclusion of the book. At first I was slightly annoyed but then realized that if I wasn't even thinking about it when I finished the book, it didn't really matter.
And while I enjoyed the jumping back and forth in time (this isn't one of those novels where the times are a hundred years apart and different characters - the time periods are all contained within the protagonist's experiences), something felt too lightweight there. Not sure what - not quite balanced, or some edited bits that might've been left in?

I enjoyed this quite a bit. Just enough doubts here and there to question the primary characters' motives. Just enough obfuscation at the beginning to wonder what the hell was going on with a particular situation, but not enough to build to annoyance at the author. The timelines, the settings, the mystery; all very well done. Stewart Taylor has a backlist of a cozy mystery series, which is a genre I tend to wholly avoid (with the sole exception of Alexander McCall Smith), and with my attraction to this one being based on the darker descriptions (and comparison to darker authors), I'm not sure I'd move backwards to check out that series, but I will most certainly keep an eye out for future offerings like this one. Can't wait!

katekate_reads_'s review against another edition

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4.0

The Mountains Wild is the kind of story that sneaks up on you. I have seen it recommended to fans of Tana French and I can see that comparison. When a friend mentioned that she really liked this one - I knew it should be my next read.

Maggie D’Arcy is a detective in the United States but gets a call to come to Ireland. Her cousin went missing there 23 years ago and the Irish police have just found her scarf and may be close to finding her.

The story is told in alternating timelines between now and flashes to Maggie’s past with her cousin Erin and the time right after she went missing. This is a book that pulls you in and won’t let go - and then suddenly you find yourself unable to stop as you race toward the ending.

I really enjoyed this book and am very excited for the next in the series. Thank you to Minotaur and Netgalley for the free ebook. I also got the audiobook from the library and listened. I have to say the narrator deserves MAJOR kudos for this one - not only did she cover multiple accents including “Irish accent attempting to do an American accent but sounding more like Australian” but she also SANG multiple times (beautifully) including singing IN IRISH. Major major kudos and definitely recommend!!

chrisheitz18's review against another edition

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dark mysterious sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

courtpm's review against another edition

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dark mysterious medium-paced

3.75

denaiir's review against another edition

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3.0

was ok but didn't care too much about the main character, won't be continuing with this series

kbranfield's review against another edition

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4.0

Taking place in Dublin, The Mountains Wild by Sarah Stewart Taylor is an intriguing, atmospheric mystery.

In the present, Long Islander Maggie D'arcy is a divorced homicide detective with a teenage daughter. She gets along with her ex-husband Brian and she is also close to her Uncle Danny who is still grieving the unsolved disappearance of her cousin Erin who disappeared in Ireland in 1993.  When a scarf that is presumed to be Erin's is discovered while the Gardaí are searching for another missing woman, Niamh Horrigan, Maggie travels to Dublin in hopes of uncovering the truth about what happened to Erin. With heavy media scrutiny,  Detective Inspector Roland "Roly" Byrne asks Maggie to quietly help him look into Erin's disappearance and the unsolved murders of several other woman spanning over two decades. Is it possible that a serial killer has flown under the radar and both Erin and Niamh are victims along with the other women? Will Maggie and Uncle Danny finally learn the truth about what happened to Erin?

A series of flashbacks provide an in-depth look into Maggie's relationship with Erin. The two are quite close until the year older Erin transitions into middle school. Although she still spends time at Maggie's house, Erin's circle of friends changes and her behavior turns rebellious. With the relationship rapidly deteriorating,  Erin finally makes the decision to move to Dublin. After her cousin vanishes in 1993, Maggie goes to Dublin with high hopes of finding Erin. After making a stunning discovery, Maggie's hopes are dashed when the investigation goes cold.

In present day Dublin, Maggie is happy to work with Roly but she is only allowed limited access to the case. She revisits many of the people she talked to in 1993 and she is thrilled to reconnect with Conor Kearney. She has never quite gotten over her feelings for him, but she soon worries he knows more about Erin's disappearance than he has previously revealed.  With time running out to find Niamh alive, Maggie and Roly team up to re-interview persons of interest from Erin's disappearance.  Will they find out what happened to Erin? And will they locate Niamh before it is too late?

The Mountains Wild is a clever mystery with an interesting storyline and multi-faceted characters. The pacing is sometimes a little slow with the majority of action taking place very late in the story. With shocking plot twists, Sarah Stewart Taylor brings this absorbing mystery to a breathtaking, stunning conclusion. Definitely recommend to fans of the genre.