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Lake of Sorrows (Nora Gavin #2)

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,261 Ratings  ·  201 Reviews
Acclaimed by the critics for her luminous first novel, "Haunted Ground," Erin Hart returns with a magnificent new tale of death and destiny, past and present, in an Ireland rich with tradition, myth, and mystery.American forensic pathologist Nora Gavin has been called to an archaeological site in the bleak midlands west of Dublin to assist at an excavation where a well-pre ...more
Hardcover, 328 pages
Published October 5th 2004 by Scribner Book Company (first published January 1st 2004)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dec 01, 2011 Hannah rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries, 2011-reads
Rating Clarification: 3.5 Stars

Good follow up to Hart's debut novel, Haunted Ground. I enjoyed the plot and pacing of this one marginally better then her first novel. The characters, while depressive, were well drawn, and the mystery itself was an intriguing one (it's always good to unearth more bog bodies...)

This is definitely a series with promise, and one I will continue with.

Also recommended for fans of Hart: the books of S.J. Bolton.
Jul 26, 2007 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Lake of Sorrows, is Hart's 2nd novel with American pathologist Nora Gavin and Irish archaelogist Cormac Maguire. Lake of Sorrows once again takes the reader out to a mysterious peat bog where an ancient body has just been uncovered preserved. Dr. Gavin heads out to the bog to study the discovered body, and upon her arrival another body is found, this one from the 21st century. Thus the mystery begins....

Hart writes a great character driven mystery that is an easy read when you're looking for som
LAKE OF SORROWS (Amateur Sleuth/Pathologist-Ireland-Cont) – VG
Erin Hart – 2nd book
Hodder & Stoughton, 2004 – U.K. Hardcover
Forensic pathologist, Nora Gavin, goes to an archeological site to investigate the finding in a peat bog of an Iron Age Body who seems to have been a human sacrifice having been slain three ways. Then a second, recent body is uncovered having been killed the same way. More, similar, deaths occur and Nora is nearly one of them.
*** I found myself thinking of this as a very
Jan 30, 2011 Susan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, 2011
This was an interesting story, though not as good as the first in the series. We get the discovery of a bog body at the beginning, then the book ends with the archaeologist on her way to find out who it was. In the first book, the bog body had a parallel storyline with the contemporary one. I liked that much better.

Most of the characters bordered on the unpleasant side this time round. Even the protagonist got on my nerves. During one glaring TSTL moment she rushes in to check to see if some clu
Thought it would be interesting 'cuz of its historical reference but was a bit too detailed which made it disconnect from the plot and characters. Before it was half done, I stopped caring about it and just wanted to finish it.
Sep 24, 2014 Sue rated it really liked it
My first venture into the books of Minnesota author, Erin Hart. I found Lake of Sorrows so interesting and engaging. Great writing. Interesting characters. Some history. A little archeology. Add in some ancient customs, a few murders and a romance. I truly couldn't wait to get back to reading it little by little each day. Set in the bog lands of Ireland, Nora Gavin an American pathologist, is called to help with an unidentified Iron Age body discovered in a bog. As that excavation begins, anothe ...more
Toni Osborne
Jan 18, 2010 Toni Osborne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
2nd book featuring Nora Gavin

This is an Irish mystery that stands above the typical murder novel of today. The story is atmospheric, the writing so colourful it is easy to fall into a spell and feel we are with Nora every part of the way. The story is very exciting; we follow a delightful female protagonist and her passion investigating ritual murders that have been committed many centuries ago and some recently. The author has filled the story with neat twists to keep her readers wondering wha
Oct 14, 2012 Bev rated it liked it
Lake of Sorrows is the second book in Erin Hart's mystery series featuring American forensic pathologist Nora Gavin and archaeologist Cormac Maguire. This time Nora, who is in Ireland doing research, is called to the scene of an excavation where a very well-preserved body from the Iron Age has been discovered in the peat bog. It appears to have been a human sacrifice--slain three ways: strangled, throat cut, and drowned. The area is close to the site of an extraordinary find of Iron Age artifact ...more
May 18, 2011 Janet rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was such a disappointment after 'Haunted Ground' (the first of Hart's books re: Nora Gavin). The first half of the book is quite simply boring, and the second half is only marginally better. None of the characters are fully developed - there is no reason to care about any of them. I felt no sympathy for the murder victims, and so why care who killed them, let alone why they were killed? Had we not met Nora and Cormac in the first book there would be no reason to care about them either. ...more
Aug 14, 2016 Debbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, ireland, bees, bog
After reading False Mermaid out of order, I had to go back and read this one. Nora is back investigating bodies found in a bog. The difference is that one isn't hundreds or thousands of years old.

This one is packed with interesting characters and settings. Hart made me feel like I was there--in the small cottages, the vast bogland, and the magical hillsides of rural Ireland. It's an enchanting, but dangerous place to wander.

So glad that there are several more books in this series.
Apr 13, 2012 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What can I say? This book was even better than the first. It's delicious. It makes you want to eat it until the very last bite, and long for more :) I've had a hard week and really needed some sleep yesterday - but couldn't close my eyes until I read the last page.

Ireland. Mystery. A lot of mystery. Mysterious characters. Mysterious details.Bloody murders. Ancient history. Bog bodies. Romance. Suspense. On top of that, beautiful writing. What else can a person want from a good quality entertaini
Hart’s style and plotting truly improved in this sequel to Haunted Ground. The pacing was much more thrilling and the plot held some surprises. Unfortunately, the relationships between the characters felt even more unconvincing (and in some cases downright silly) here. The wishy-washy romance though was the most annoying aspect of the entire novel. It was so ridiculous and simply agitating (and not in a positive romantic-plot kind of way). And though it wasn’t as downright dull as the first book ...more
Megan Hart
Mar 06, 2014 Megan Hart rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lake of Sorrows

Lake of Sorrows

Excellently written book. I have come to expect the best from this author. She has kept me glued to these pages for the past two days. I recommend it to anyone who likes mystery and facts on Irish history.
Feb 03, 2014 Pat rated it really liked it
Very interesting story about, bottom line, greed. The song of Dan Fogelbergs' comes to mind for this story, when he sang about the power of gold. How interesting that this story comes around to one thing that seemed to trigger the deaths. The ritual aspect of killings and the sacrifices was also in the theme. The characters, Nora and Cormack are interesting with their relationship. I found the twisting and interlocking of all the characters a little bit exhausting to keep the whole thing straigh ...more
Laura Edwards
Apr 01, 2016 Laura Edwards rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Really more a 3.5, but I rounded up because of the second half of the book. The story starts out very slooooooowly, Ms. Hart seeming to use the first half of the book as an information dump. And I preferred the last book where the centuries old bog find was an integral part of the story. In this one, it just seemed an afterthought, if that. Halfway through the pace picked up, thank heavens, and it was very hard to put the book down. A little gruesome, but very intense. I still enjoy the interact ...more
Very slow moving-almost made me give up. It is a good storyline, and does have good plot points. Just be prepared for a lot of exploration of feelings and angst.
Patti Barber
Aug 06, 2013 Patti Barber rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
I really enjoy Erin Hart's books. This is my last one until she releases a new Nora Gavin novel and I already know I will miss the characters. .
Rachel Wallace
3.5 Stars

Book 2 of 4 in the series didn't disappoint. Nora and Cormac somehow find themselves in the middle of a murder mystery again, bodies keep turning up in and around a bog in an otherwise quiet small Irish town. Nora and Cormac cannot help but get involved.

This is a worthwhile read, the characters are, once again, interesting imperfect and believable. The crime is complex enough to hold my interest and backed up by scientific facts. I did get annoyed in a couple places because characters
Jenny Stewart
Feb 08, 2014 Jenny Stewart rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another winner by Erin Hart. Fascinating details of Iron Age artifacts and plausible Druid and Celt rituals kept me glued to the mystery of the bog bodies uncovered by archaeologists. Greed, family secrets, mental illness as well as the scape goats who shoulder blame are subplots here. She also includes some interesting parallels between ancient bloody rituals and our modern versions in the form of sports competitions. Nora and Cormac's romance and sleuthing skills add further enjoyment to this ...more
Mar 24, 2011 Mkotch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Left me breathless! Builds slowly, but then I read the last half in one big gulp.
Jul 07, 2016 Karen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cannot-finish
The premise of this book sounded amazing, but as I read on to get about 1/3 along in it; I stole a look at the piles of books I need to get through and gave it up. I really would love to read mysteries surrounding bog settings. I love suspense set in Ireland. Saw this book at the library and thought it sounded fascinating. It was annoying and it never grabbed me. I had to force myself to read it and cringed doing it when I picked it up. I gave it a 2 for the benefit of the doubt, it might get be ...more
Jul 08, 2015 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lake of Sorrows is the second book in Erin Hart's series of crime/mystery novels featuring pathologist Nora Gavin, this time focusing on the discovery of a man's body in a bog that seems to be an Iron Age ritual killing, similar to a very recent find in the same bog. The only thing that differs, however, is that this body comes with a wristwatch, marking it as belonging to the modern era.

In all honesty, I thought Lake of Sorrows was a better novel than Haunted Ground . The strengths found in t
Jun 22, 2014 Melissa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nora-gavin
Too many deaths, too many story line, too many questions left unanswered. There's 2 books left in the series-I'm wondering if the author will circle back to this and fill in the blanks? We shall see

"American pathologist Nora Gavin has come to the Irish midlands to examine a body unearthed by peat workers at a desolate spot known as the Lake of Sorrows. As with all the artifacts culled from its prehistoric depths, the bog has effectively preserved the dead man's remains, and his multiple wounds s
Very pleasantly surprised by this book! I enjoyed it so much more than the first in the series. Now I'm wondering if I was simply too harsh a judge of the first one, or if Erin Hart really did improve that much as a writer from one book to the next. Either way, I'm SO GLAD that this series got better, because it always seemed like it should be exactly the type of book I'd love reading (mystery and archaeology set in Ireland. I mean, yes).

In what ways did the series get better, you ask? Well, mos
Oct 31, 2012 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
(3.5 stars) The second book in the Nora Gavin/Cormac Maguire series has Nora called in to examine a bog body. Her relationship with Cormac is strained by her realization that she needs to come to closure regarding her sister's murder and will need to leave Ireland to do so. Cormac is planning on joining her at the dig site and they will stay at the cottage of his former mentor. She is disturbed by the presence of Ursula, an archeologist at the site who obviously has a past with Cormac. The ancie ...more
Anne Hawn Smith
I enjoyed this book. The setting of Irish bogs is different from so many mysteries and adds a bit of interest because of the discoveries surrounding the prehistoric bog bodies found there. Forensic pathologist, Nora Gavin, has been asked to help with the discovery of another bog body who seems to have been killed in a prehistoric ritual “triple death.” When a more recent body turns up with the same “triple death” characteristics, the mystery widens. Is the ritual still being practiced?

Mar 24, 2010 Zarina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was quite taken by Erin Hart's debut novel "Haunted Ground", an engrossing mystery (and one I'd recommend reading prior to this). "Lake of Sorrows" is the second in what I believe might be a series, as a couple of characters from the first novel make their appearance here. Forensic pathologist, American Nora Gavin once again finds herself embroiled in the mysteries of the Irish peat bogs, and with her is on-off lover and archaeologist Cormac MacGuire. Two bodies have been discovered in the bog ...more
Jun 17, 2013 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense
I have whipped through this series about a pair of archaeologists in Ireland unearthing bodies from the peat bog and solving the mysteries of their connections & demise. Excellent series! I am on book three presently.

Love the complex characters and back story in this series. Nora is an American who is in Ireland to escape the aftermath of her sister's murder in Minnesota, 5 years before. She is convinced she knows who the killer is but can't prove it. Cormac is an Irish archaeologist and to
Keilani Ludlow
If you've read the first book, you'll already know if you like her style of mystery novel or not. I think she writes very engaging characters, and a story that you want to know all of, and I'm not nearly as into mystery novels as other types. I could live without the semi-graphic sexual situations and the f-words. That being said, she doesn't use the swearing as filler the way some authors do so it's not consistently throughout the book, in fact this book has less than her last book. All in all, ...more
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ERIN HART'S archaeological crime novels are set in the mysterious boglands of Ireland. She introduced pathologist Nora Gavin in one of the most lauded mystery debuts of 2003: HAUNTED GROUND (2003), was a Booksense 76 pick, won the Friends of American Writers award and Romantic Times' Best First Mystery, was shortlisted for Anthony and Agatha awards, and translated into ten foreign languages. LAKE ...more
More about Erin Hart...

Other Books in the Series

Nora Gavin (4 books)
  • Haunted Ground (Nora Gavin, #1)
  • False Mermaid (Nora Gavin #3)
  • The Book of Killowen (Nora Gavin, #4)

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“All of us insist upon our illusions, upon substituting dreams and distorted memories for the real thing.” 1 likes
“Was it possible for the living to haunt their fellow creatures? For something as intangible as the mere memory of a gesture to slip into the subconscious unbidden and remain there until some firing synapse, some chemical key set it free?” 1 likes
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