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Maggie D'arcy #1

The Mountains Wild

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In a series debut for fans of Tana French and Kate Atkinson, set in Dublin and New York, homicide detective Maggie D'arcy finally tackles the case that changed the course of her life.

Twenty-three years ago, Maggie D'arcy's family received a call from the Dublin police. Her cousin Erin has been missing for several days. Maggie herself spent weeks in Ireland, trying to track Erin's movements, working beside the police. But it was to no avail: no trace of her was ever found.

The experience inspired Maggie to become a cop. Now, back on Long Island, more than 20 years have passed. Maggie is a detective and a divorced mother of a teenager. When the Gardaí call to say that Erin's scarf has been found and another young woman has gone missing, Maggie returns to Ireland, awakening all the complicated feelings from the first trip. The despair and frustration of not knowing what happened to Erin. Her attraction to Erin's coworker, now a professor, who never fully explained their relationship. And her determination to solve the case, once and for all.

A lyrical, deeply drawn portrait of a woman - and a country - over two decades - The Mountains Wild introduces a compelling new mystery series from a mesmerizing author.

416 pages, Hardcover

First published June 23, 2020

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About the author

Sarah Stewart Taylor

16 books494 followers
Sarah Stewart Taylor grew up on Long Island and was educated at Middlebury College and Trinity College, Dublin. She lives with her husband and three children on a farm in Vermont where they raise sheep and grow blueberries.

Sarah is the author of the Sweeney St. George series and the Maggie D'arcy series. The first Maggie D'arcy mystery, THE MOUNTAINS WILD, was nominated for the Dashiell Hammett Prize and was on numerous Best of 2020 lists. The new Maggie D'arcy novel, A STOLEN CHILD, will be out on June 20, 2023.

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5 stars
716 (22%)
4 stars
1,593 (49%)
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772 (23%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 649 reviews
Profile Image for Liz.
2,018 reviews2,517 followers
May 24, 2020
All it took was a comparison of the author to Tana French and Kate Atkinson to get me on board. They are two of my favorite authors. And the writing did immediately grab me. I loved Taylor’s descriptions, the way I could totally imagine the scenes she was painting.
Maggie is a Long Island detective, busy with her own life, when the call comes in. Her cousin, Erin, had disappeared in Ireland 23 years before. Now, her scarf has been found at the scene where another young woman has just gone missing. Maggie flies over to assess the situation. The story goes back and forth between the two investigations, with flashbacks to Maggie’s childhood with Erin. I enjoyed the bits of historical facts about the interplay between Ireland and Northern Ireland.
The book is much more character driven that fast paced. Even as a young woman, before she got into law enforcement, Maggie was a good detective. The story kept my interest, with tantalizing bits dribbled out like bread crumbs. I always just felt slightly off balance, not knowing where it would go next. It’s a good, strong ending, although one resolution felt a little wrong. I had no clue as to how it was going to play out.
Now, the comparison to French is much more accurate than to Atkinson. There’s no humor here. This is a dark book, but an enjoyable read. I would definitely seek out other books by Taylor.
My thanks to netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advance copy of this book.
Profile Image for Lori Lamothe.
Author 10 books115 followers
February 29, 2020
4.5 Stars

First, my apologies to Sarah Stewart Taylor. I've been raving about her “debut novel,” but after doing a little research (i.e. googling) I realized she's already written an entire cozy mystery series. I suppose one reason I made the mistake is because The Mountains Wild is a really good book. Which is not to say her series isn't also good--it probably is--but only that I'm surprised she isn't more well known. It may be because The Mountains Wild is such a departure from her previous books. Warmth suffuses this novel, but there's nothing cozy about it. Rather, it's a gripping psychological thriller more in the vein of Tana French, Yrsa Siguroardottir and Karin Slaughter.

After 23 years spent not knowing what happened to her cousin, Maggie D'Arcy learns that Erin's blood-stained scarf has turned up at the spot where another young woman has just gone missing. Maggie hasn't been back to Ireland since Erin disappeared and she has the usual over scheduled life of a divorced working mom. But she's never forgotten the trip she initially made to Ireland in 1993, shortly after Erin went missing. And she's never put what happened to her cousin to rest. In fact, it's the reason she became a police detective in Long Island. So after leaving her teenage daughter in the care of her ex, she catches a flight to Dublin. Maybe this time she'll get it right. Maybe she can finally discover what happened to Erin—and save the life of Niamh Horrigan. Because Erin may have been the first woman to go missing in the mountains near Glenmalure and Niamh the last, but there have been several other women who've vanished from the same area in the intervening years. The Irish Gardai believe the cases are related and Maggie tends to agree. But can they find the abductor before Niamh dies?

Told solely from Maggie's point of view, The Mountains Wild is both a thrilling ride and a “love letter to Ireland” (as Taylor states in her acknowledgements). There are plenty of plot twists that kept me guessing and the final revelation was well done. The narrative alternates between 1993, 2016 and the distant past, when Maggie and Erin were growing up together. In addition, Taylor weaves bits of Irish songs, history, literature and language throughout the novel. There are quirky references to Ulysses (and chickens!), snippets of “rebel songs that tell stories,” bits of Irish history and even the obligatory Yeats quote. The overall effect of all this is a skillfully wrought tale that kept my attention from beginning to end. The pacing isn't break-neck – new dead bodies aren't turning up every other chapter – but the action unravels steadily and builds to a satisfying, exciting conclusion.

However, the two things I like best about The Mountains Wild are the characters and the setting. I got a strong sense of Maggie but even secondary characters seem fleshed out. Her complicated relationship with Erin is especially well done; it's ironic but lovely that the woman who has been absent for the longest is the most vivid person in the novel. And the depiction of Ireland is also lovely. Though she is an American, Stewart studied at Trinity and spent years in Dublin. Her knowledge and love for the country comes through on every page. As is true of most mysteries, there were a few issues with the plot and there were a lot of things to tie up at the end, maybe some that needed a bit more explanation. I kept thinking she hadn't wrapped up this or that, but after going through it all point by point, I found she had indeed done so.

Stewart's web site lists this thriller as part of a series, though no future books are listed. I certainly hope there will be more Maggie D'Arcy mysteries to come. Much thanks to St. Martin's Press and Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Diane S ☔.
4,733 reviews14.1k followers
July 21, 2020
Twenty years ago Maggie's cousin Erin went missing in Dublin. Although at that time, Maggie had flown to Ireland to aid the police, all their efforts came to nought. Now new evidence has been uncovered and Maggie now a successful police detective, once again finds herself in Dublin.

There was quite a bit of toing and froing, back and forth in time, made it at times confusing to follow. I did like the actual investigation, well to a point, went in many different directions. I did like the characters, Maggie and Roly, and wonder if we'll see them again.

Don't know if it's Covid brain or what, but this was just okay for me. Had its moments and intriguing enough lead characters for a future entry, if this is going to be a series. Lately, I'm yearning for straightforward, linear novels.

ARC from Edelweiss.
Profile Image for Elle.
587 reviews1,311 followers
May 31, 2020
This is an okay police procedural. I was expecting more from a novel that compares itself to Tana French, and it definitely didn’t reach that level for me. It was slow to start, slow in the middle and did not pick up the pace nearly enough at the end.

There was also something about Maggie D’Arcy that came off as insincere, both in her job and how often she trotted out Irish fun facts. It was almost like she was constantly trying to prove her Irish-adjacency to the reader. And after checking the author’s bio, which is almost exactly the same background as Maggie and Erin’s, I think I understand where that influence came from.

Maggie is the only person who can solve this in the way a lot of these books frame their heroines & heroes. But I never connected with her, the missing person, Erin, or any of the other characters. The writing was fine, though I wouldn’t go so far as to call it ‘lyrical’. It’s a little too dry to be considered a thriller, so if you’re looking for something like that I’d pass on this one.

*Thanks to St. Martin’s Press & Netgalley for an advance copy!
Profile Image for Linda.
1,226 reviews1,274 followers
July 28, 2020
There's so much distance here......

Maggie D'arcy stands quiet and still. She's feeling her body and her mind lock down into high alert. A phone call stirs up the shifting sands of so long ago. And Maggie revisits that stirring once again. Her cousin Erin disappeared in Ireland twenty-three years ago. It was as if she disappeared into an Irish mist. No sign, no contact, nothing.

Maggie sits at her desk on a different shore. She's now a detective on Long Island bogged down with her own case loads. Her inner self deals with life with a teenage daughter and a divorce that has just begun to gel. But this news is personal and it carries the weight of responsibility still sitting on her shoulders after all these years. The Gardai have found an item belonging to Erin. They've also been dealing with missing young women as of late. Could there be a connection after so much time?

The Mountains Wild starts out with so much promise. The thought of Ireland (my ancestry) always pulls me in. I was intrigued by the character of Maggie as well. But it soon seemed that Maggie's American credentials would automatically open doors for her here in Ireland. The Gardai was painted almost clueless as Maggie soon strong-arms her way into this case. Although Sarah Stewart Wild creates Erin as a freckle-faced, free spirit, we don't know much about her and don't quite feel invested in her character. The story becomes lead-footed at times as we walk again and again through the streets of Dublin trying to sort through the clues.

This was a 3.5 kicked up to 4 Stars because of the Irish setting and some really well-written passages. I'd suggest giving it a whirl as many have rated it far higher than I did. The Mountains Wild appears to be the first book in this Maggie D'arcy series. Perhaps the next setting will be in Maggie's own backyard of Long Island next time. Let's give it a looky look.

Profile Image for Lisa.
Author 46 books6,957 followers
December 12, 2019
Atmospheric and lyrical, THE MOUNTAINS WILD is that rare thing -- a riveting thriller with a beating heart. In this beautifully wrought portrait of love and family, secrets and lies, Sarah Stewart Taylor dives deep into character, all the while ratcheting up the suspense, page by gripping page, through to the stunning end.
Profile Image for Sandra Hoover.
1,175 reviews188 followers
June 5, 2020
Twenty-three years after her cousin's disappearance during a visit to Ireland, now Detective Marcy D'arcy is called back to the scene by a message from the Gardaí that new evidence has surfaced. A bloody scarf belonging to Erin has been found, and another young woman is missing. Marcy's frustration and anguish over her cousin's vanishing without a trace is evident as she is drawn back into the past looking for answers. What clues are they missing? Did her sister fall victim to a serial killer - one who's preying on young women again? Can authorities get to the truth before anyone else dies? Not without Det. D'arcy's help. And she'll give it to them with or without their permission.

The Mountains Wild is a highly atmospheric, twisted read with a killer setting in the mountains of Ireland. The author's descriptive prose denotes a scene of beauty with hints of malice, propelling a steady suspenseful pace. Revealed through Maggie's point of view, we are privy to her thoughts both as a smart detective and profiler and as a woman recalling her youth and days gone by with her strange cousin. Through chapters of past and present, readers become part of the original unsuccessful search in 1993 as well as the present one in 2016. Taylor's execution of the intense plot is excellent as are the police procedural elements. The story is riveting and best read with as few breaks as possible to maintain the flow and allow readers to follow the chain of evidence and introduction of various characters. While I wasn't totally shocked at the big reveal in the end, the groundwork was laid and it was expertly executed. The Mountains Wild is the study of a complex woman who must deal with the past in order to move into the future. It's also a study of a land, its history, and people. Fans of mystery, suspense, thrillers, and police procedurals will love this beautifully written book. Highly Recommended.

*Special thanks to Minotaur Books for an arc of this book via Netgalley. #MinotaurInfluencers
**Review posted at: Cross My Heart Reviews
Profile Image for Bam cooks the books ;-).
1,848 reviews231 followers
June 27, 2020
This is an excellent police procedural set in Ireland that involves both a cold case and an active one--concerning the disappearances of young women last seen walking in the Irish hills 23 years apart.

Maggie D'Arcy is the narrator of the story and the uniting factor between both cases. It was her cousin Erin who disappeared in 1993 and at that time Maggie flew over from Long Island, NY to represent her family during the search. Erin was never found but now, in 2016, Erin's scarf has turned up while the Gardai are searching for another missing young woman. Are the two cases related?

So Maggie returns to Ireland--but now she is a lieutenant working in the Homocide Division of the LIPD and is rather famous for having solved a similar case in that area. Of course, she's in Ireland unofficially, just to answer questions about Erin and perhaps help the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation in Dublin uncover any links between these two cases, something that might help find the man the press is calling the Southeast Killer. So the situation is rather tricky and complicated --what information they can reveal to her and what they cannot.

This story is told in two timelines but also with flashbacks to Maggie's memories of her cousin Erin as they grew up together. They were close early on but many incidents drove wedges between them so that by the time Erin disappears, Maggie really has no clue why she moved to Ireland and what she might have been up to there.

These are very interesting characters in a beautiful setting with lots of knotty twists and turns to the plot. A bit of thwarted romance too. But the ending? Wow! I guarantee you will not see that coming! Can't wait for more in this series.

I received an arc of this new mystery from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. I also enjoyed watching an interview with Sarah Stewart Taylor that Minotaur Books invited me to take part. Many thanks for these opportunities!
Profile Image for Brenda.
725 reviews148 followers
July 29, 2020
I got to about 35% and lost interest. The pacing was very slow and I was getting bored. Did I really gain any information whenever the author listed street after street after street as the main character walked? Ugh. I fast forwarded to the end and was not surprised.
Profile Image for Carol.
829 reviews482 followers
June 26, 2020
Recommended by Readers' Advisor, Librarian, and Library Journal Reviewer, extraordinaire, Lesa Holstine. She loved it and that was enough for me. i immediately requested a digital arc from Edelweiss, who kindly provided it tout suite. Sincere thank also to the author, Sarah Steward Taylor and the Publisher, Minotaur books for allowing the early read. The Mountains Wild is now available wherever you find your books.

Sarah Stewart Taylor calls her latest series a love letter to Dublin. It is that yet also an engrossing cold case mystery. Featuring Long Island Cop, Maggie D'Arcy who finds herself in that beautiful locale hoping to solve the unsolved disappearance of her cousin, Erin several years before. A nice addition to the mystery genre though Maggie D'Arcy's character and profession will be the real draw.

Profile Image for Cindy Burnett (Thoughts from a Page).
565 reviews981 followers
May 5, 2020
The Mountains Wild did not resonate with me, and maybe it is because I read a lot of mysteries so I am overly picky about them. The pacing is pretty slow, and I had trouble keeping up with all of the characters. A large portion of the story is set in Ireland, and I enjoyed the Irish setting a lot but felt the random injections of Irish politics were a little hard to follow and instead of blending into the story seemed superfluous. I have a hard time with unrealistic resolutions, and this one seemed completely out there. I think this book may appeal to others, but it was just not the book for me.
Profile Image for Maria.
502 reviews321 followers
March 30, 2021
Thanks Minotaur Books for an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

This is such a good slow-burn type of thriller that has past and present intersecting with one another, at well-places times. I never found myself confused with it, which is always a good sign!

Our characters are tough, and everyone has their own story, you just need to pay attention! I think this one might have to be a reread at some point, because I’m curious if there were any clues I had missed.

Oh, and the whole solving-the-mystery thing? Well, let’s just say that, should you read this, don’t trust anyone!
Profile Image for Dale Harcombe.
Author 14 books298 followers
May 27, 2021
Three and a half stars
When a phone call comes from Detective Roland Byrne of the Irish Garda, it brings back all the memories from twenty three years earlier. At that time Maggie’s cousin went missing. Maggie spent weeks in Ireland trying to work out what had happened to Erin. No trace of her and no body was ever found. Could these clues lead to answers after all this time? Maggie, a detective in the U.S on Long Island, leaves her daughter Lilly with her ex husband Brian to return to Ireland. Will she finally discover what happened to Erin? In the intervening years other women have gone missing and then turned up dead. Roland and Maggie need to find the killer before he kills again. This story follows two time paths, 1993 and 2016 but it is also interspersed with pages from the childhood of Erin and Maggie.
This was my first introduction to Maggie as I had not read the two earlier books, however she was easy to empathise with. The setting of Ireland is evocatively conveyed, although I admit to feeling lost at times in the info about the interactions between Ireland and Northern Island, This book struck me as more a character driven novel than a fast paced murder mystery and I wasn’t convinced by one aspect of the ending. Despite reservations, this was an entertaining read. For me though it did live up to the hype of the advance praise comments plastered on the back cover. Enjoyable, interesting even, but not riveting.
Profile Image for Susan.
1,062 reviews200 followers
June 14, 2020
I was so impressed with how good this book was. Maggie D'arcy's cousin,Erin, disappeared in 1993 after she moved to Dublin. The book alternates between that time period and the current time in 2016. Nothing has been heard from Erin since her disappearance and no body has been found.

Maggie has gone on to be a famous policewoman in Long Island, NY, and arrested a serial killer. She has married, divorced, had a daughter but still no word from her cousin. Then she gets a call from the Dublin police (garda). In investigating a young woman's disappearance they have found something of Erin's, a scarf. She flies over to Dublin and tries to help the investigation.

They uncover a pattern of missing women and Maggie wonders if they are connected to her cousin. The search takes them all over Dublin and into the Wicklow Mountains. It brings up painful memories and slowly but surely progress is made into the investigation.

It had me on the edge of my seat and, trust me, I never saw the ending coming. This was just a wonderful read. Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this in exchange for a fair review.
Profile Image for LenaRibka.
1,425 reviews416 followers
July 24, 2021
I don't honestly know how to rate this book. Up to around 80% it was BRILLIANT. Really good. All my thoughts while reading were: "I can't believe I found another Tana French, lucky me, lucky me!" And then, during the last 20% it started to slip into...superficiality, like the author got slightly tired with her story, like she hoped that her readers were a bit forgettable or paid not too much attention to details or...maybe she just let her friend, a less successful buddy-writer, to finish it?

But the BEST WORST of all was the final resolution....WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT???? Pardon my French. THAT had no SENCE at ALL, not at the expense of ANYTHING in this world. It was the most stupid unrealistic illogical resolution EVER. This book didn't deserve it. If I were her literary agent, I would have forced her to rewrite the resolution. It is totally out of place here. I am not even going to put anything in the spoiler tags. What should I say, except what I have already said?!

I don't know if I should be angry or disappointed. The synopsis says, a series debut for fans of Tana French and Kate Atkinson. I got my Tana French in the first 80%, I haven't read anything by Kate Atkinson. But if the last 20% is something one can connect to Kate Atkinson's writing, I swear, I'll never touch a book by this author.

I know, my rating will be a bit complicated: I rate the first 3/5 of the book with 5, the 4/5 with 4 stars, and the last 1/5 with 1 stars:
(5+5+5+4+1): 5 = 4 -1 (for my disappointment)=3

I read it within 3 days, I couldn't put it down, but why I feel like I have been deceived?!
Profile Image for Whitney.
227 reviews397 followers
May 28, 2020
Thank you Minotaur Books for the free book. The Mountains Wild was an evocative, emotional murder mystery that captured my attention from page one. Because I've never heard of the author before, I had few expectations going on. I love detective procedurals set in Ireland and the UK, and this rates up there for me with Tana French and Dervla McTiernan, some of my favorites. The Irish countryside and streets of Dublin become characters themselves, framing the search for missing young women. An American detective with roots in Ireland returns to Dublin over 20 years after her cousin's disappearance in the mountains of Wicklow, when her cousin's scar is found in the woods by police searching for a different missing woman. The storyline alternates between current day and 23 years prior, with flashbacks to her childhood with her troubled cousin. The story felt like the perfect balance between inner turmoil and outward action, along with lyrical Irish dialogue and settings. I just really, really enjoyed this book and am so glad it's a series debut.
Profile Image for Heather Fineisen.
1,156 reviews112 followers
February 29, 2020
A strong New series in the mystery genre. This is definitely one I will follow. Women are missing in Ireland, including the cousin of current Long Island Police Detective Maggie D'arcy. The story goes back and forth spanning years before to current day. The characters are richly developed. The locations are created realistically and the troubled history is featured. All components of a great book with a little love story and some unexpected twists and turns. One of the best mysteries I have read this year.

Copy provided by the Publisher and NetGalley
Profile Image for Carolyn McBride.
Author 6 books97 followers
March 22, 2020
This is a lyrical, beautiful, almost mystical book. Despite the dark plot, it painted Ireland beautifully. I could almost feel the rain and taste the Guiness. (I wish!) I was always kept guessing...I had no idea who, how or where until the end and what a perfect ending it was!
I loved every word of this.

Many thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for enabling my reading obsession for an honest review.
Profile Image for Dana.
682 reviews9 followers
June 18, 2020
The Mountains Wild is the latest series in the Mystery genre ... and I just have to say, I'm so excited for what's to come! Looking forward to where the next story takes Maggie D'arcy.

Maggie, a detective and divorced mother is still searching for the truth of her missing cousin Erin. Erin disappeared more than twenty years ago, Maggie searched until the trail went cold. Now, new evidence and another missing woman brings Maggie back to Ireland from her home in Long Island where she will begin her search once again. Will she find the truth she's been seeking for two decades? What happened to Erin?

Written in alternating timelines between the years 1993 and 2016 this book packs a punch. Beautiful and atmospheric with strong characters and a plot that will keep you guessing right until the end...

Huge thank you to Minotaur Books for my review copy!!

Profile Image for Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader.
1,103 reviews130 followers
June 21, 2020
I love a good mystery and this was the first book by Taylor that I have read. It was a good mystery to say the least.
I plan to grab her past books and adding them to my to be read pile.
I like surprises in the plots, it makes the story so much more fun to read.
I gave this book 4 stars.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.
Profile Image for Mark Baker.
2,057 reviews152 followers
June 24, 2020
In 1993, Maggie D’Arcy’s cousin Erin vanished while living in Ireland. Maggie went over for a couple of months trying to figure out what happened, but the mystery was never solved. It did have a profound impact on her life since after returning home, Maggie become a cop herself on Long Island. Now, another young woman has vanished. In the search for her, a skeleton has been found, and buried with the skeleton is Erin’s scarf. Has Erin been found after all these years? Where is the new woman who has vanished? Are the cases connected?

It’s been years since Sarah Stewart Taylor released a book, but I was thrilled to pick up something from her again. I’d forgotten just how atmospheric her writing is, but I was soon back under her spell. The pacing was off near the beginning since Maggie doesn’t have any jurisdiction in Ireland, but eventually she found a way into the case and we started getting the twists that lead us to the climax. The book takes place in 1993, the present, and even further in the past as Maggie and Erin are growing up. All of these time periods are easy to follow. They also allow us to see how characters have matured over the years, which I enjoyed. This is Maggie’s story, and I couldn’t help but feel for her as the book progressed and the story unfolded. The story also switches from past to present tense depending on which time period we are reading about. It took my brain a bit of time to adjust to this, but I did rather quickly. This is more serious than the cozies I often read, but if you keep that in mind, you’ll enjoy this book as well.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.

Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.
Profile Image for Anita.
2,100 reviews146 followers
July 6, 2021
I will admit, up front, that I am not a reader of serious books. The deepest I get is a good mystery. You can expound on subtext and deeper images and all that crap goes right over my head. I want to be entertained. I want my attention to be grabbed and held. If the book is a mystery, I want fast paced. When I found myself nodding off, I knew I was in trouble. The single POV and the two time lines and childhood flashbacks probably contributed. I love the descriptions of Ireland, but the pace of this book is slow and prodding.

Maggie D'arcy is a twenty something whose mother's illness and death has altered what she thought was going to be the course of her life. Her cousin goes on to move the Ireland and Maggie stays home. When her Erin turns up missing, Maggie goes to Ireland to try and find out what happened. When Erin's scarf is discovered, twenty-three years later, Maggie returns.

Maggie is now the divorced mother of a teen daughter and a well regarded homicide detective in Long Island. She is not going to be stopped in her quest to finally solve her cousin's case and hopes to aid the Garda in their current case of the young woman, whose disappearance in the same area Erin disappeared in, lead searchers to Erin's scarf. Maggie has so many memories and missed opportunities, one of which was the love of her life.
Profile Image for Mary.
1,473 reviews496 followers
June 27, 2020
The Mountains Wild by Sarah Stewart Taylor is a slow burn mystery while also being incredibly atmospheric.

I really like that this book is set mostly in Ireland, and even though I've never been there Taylor's writing made me feel like I was seeing it for myself. This also made it a very atmospheric read which I loved. The Mountains Wild is a mix of different genres and there's a mystery, while also having elements of a police procedural and detective fiction as well. There is a really stunning conclusion, and I didn't see it coming at all. The suspense was really well done, and it kept me turning pages even though I would definitely consider this a slow burn the entire time.

I also enjoyed Maggie as a character, she was a strong female lead (my favorite!) and I loved that she was a hotshot detective from Long Island. I could feel her frustration when Erin first disappeared, and her frustration when they won't tell her anything after another girl has gone missing, and I love the fact she did some sleuthing on her own. The book jumps back and forth from 2016 to 1993 (when Erin first goes missing) and is also interspersed with memories of Maggie and Erin growing up. I loved this setup and it also helped keep me interested in what was going on.

It seems that The Mountains Wild may be the first book of a series and I would love if it were. I definitely didn't get enough of Maggie and I would love more books based on her cases as a detective whether based in Ireland or Long Island. This book has a lot about family and relationships and is quite dark, but it also made me laugh at times which was a plus. If you are in the mood for an atmospheric mystery with hints of other elements and lots of family dynamics, then I definitely recommend checking this one out.

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an advance review copy of this book, all opinions and thoughts are my own.
Profile Image for Lenea.
98 reviews4 followers
March 30, 2020
I didn't post a review right away because I wanted to be fair. I won this book from a Goodreads Giveaway. It will come out in June. I'm going to be completely honest about how I felt about this book and why so you can make your own decisions. I want to say I do not think it was a bad book. I did struggle with it though.
For me, this book can be divided into three parts. The boring first 1/4. The exciting middle half. The never ending last 1/4. This book was a slow start for me. I blame it partly on world issues and partly on it being set in Ireland. I typically struggle with books set in different countries until I can get used to the language. So I kept on working at it because it looked like a good story. Once I made a little headway, through the first 1/4, I got really into it. I read the middle half fairly quickly and was enjoying it. By the end, I was bored, annoyed and just ready for it to be over.
There were a few inconsistencies, repeated phrases and editing errors, which I'm assuming have yet to be fixed before its actual release. There were WAY too many characters, many of whom I still don't know what purpose they served in the plot. I was a little disappointed in the ending. I felt like it came so far out of left field, the author was trying too hard to surprise readers but fell flat. It was perhaps just not my cup of tea. Or pint of Guinness.
Profile Image for Stephen Kiernan.
Author 12 books897 followers
June 26, 2020
I consider myself fortunate in that I was asked to read an advance copy of this book for a possible blurb. Below is what I had to say after reading it, and I meant every word.

THE MOUNTAINS WILD has all the ingredients you'd want in a tasty thriller -- twisting plots, uncertainty about who to trust, dogged investigators and a gripping climax -- but it also has two extra spices.
First, the setting of Ireland is so vivid and precise, you can practically taste the pints and smell the peat fires. Second, this novel has incredible tenderness and emotional accuracy.
This is a thriller with a big heart.
Profile Image for Lindsi (Do You Dog-ear?).
708 reviews173 followers
November 28, 2021
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

I don't read a lot of mysteries, but I am so happy I took a chance on The Mountains Wild. I never wanted to put it down! Once I reached a certain point, I wasn't capable of stopping. I stayed up until nearly 4 AM, BECAUSE I HAD TO KNOW. It was crazy! I was second-guessing myself, the characters, and trying to read between the lines. My brain felt overworked, like I was actually there and someone's life depended on me personally (sooo stressful, but also weirdly invigorating). I wasn't able to figure it out, but I really enjoyed the journey! Regardless, the story was fantastic, the characters relatable and authentic, and the Ireland setting was lovely. I could clearly picture the breathtaking views.

I've always wanted to go to Ireland, and this book only solidified those feelings. The pubs! The accents! The views! I have no idea if it's all in my head or not (books tend to impact expectations), but I still want to go one day. I thought the author did a wonderful job of describing where the characters were within the story (what streets they were on, which buildings they passed). I felt like I was there with Maggie, walking down an alley, turning corners, feeling the wind in my hair and on my face. It was so vivid and detailed, but without feeling overdone. Amazing.

I also thought the characters were remarkably well-written. Everyone was interesting and fleshed out, and I loved learning new things about them. I had a mental list going throughout the book, and I would add new facts and details as they presented themselves. I honestly had no idea what was relevant and what wasn't, but I was constantly looking for clues and crumbs. Maggie is a Detective in her own right, but she's a civilian when she's in Ireland. It limits what she can and cannot do regarding her cousin's disappearance, but she never stops trying. Even before she became a detective, she used her gut and intuition to help the actual authorities track down leads and gather information (much to their chagrin).

Roly was one of those people she kept working around and with during both of her visits, and they kept in touch during the 23 years in-between. Roly never stopped investigating her cousin's disappearance, and was quick to phone them when something of interest popped up. He didn't betray anyone's confidence, or do anything that would cost him his job, but he did bend the rules a bit where Maggie was concerned. They were good friends that cared for one another, and it never went beyond that, not even for a second. I loved their relationship, and enjoyed seeing them work together.

Connor wasn't necessarily my type, but I could see why Maggie was interested in him. I was cheering for them the entire time, and really liked how the author handled their story. They fell in like pretty quickly, but their reactions were believable, if a little foolhardy. They were both reasonable people, but the timing wasn't exactly right. I disliked his forwardness after learning something about his personal life, but it was still something I could see two people doing and dealing with IRL. It's always interesting to see how a relationship develops and changes over time (this one just happened to be over two decades).

I really liked reading about someone that was similar to me in age as well. I could relate to her life and what she was dealing with personally, while also losing myself in the mystery surrounding her cousin. There were a few times when the information felt like it was too much, but it was mostly when Maggie and Griz were pouring over the old cases and reviewing files. We're given A LOT of information in a very short amount of time, and I had trouble keeping up with everything being shared.

I definitely didn't see this one coming, and I was thrilled to experience this mystery right along with Maggie and the others. How if unfolds? Genius! Everyone is a potential suspect, and the flashbacks were also a wonderful addition to the story. It gave us a chance to really understand Maggie's relationship with Erin, and how it changed over time. They were like sisters once, but then their relationship became strained and distant. I really loved how the author tied everything together, and how the past and present overlapped to make one big picture.

The Mountains Wild is easily one of my favorite reads this year! I had been in a bit of a slump with mostly three-star books, but this one totally blew me away! The writing, characters, story, setting, mystery𑁋all of it was fucking fantastic. I highly recommend it, even if mystery isn't something you normally go for. (★★★★⋆)

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Profile Image for Jen Ryland.
1,478 reviews900 followers
June 24, 2020
Overall: it took a bit of time to set up, but once this got going, it was a impressively twisty tale of family, obsession, secrets, and murder set in Ireland in the 1990s and the present.

I've long been a huge fan of female Irish crime authors like Denise Mina and Tana French. Sarah Stewart Taylor is American, but her book is set in Ireland and features Maggie, an American detective whose beloved cousin Erin disappeared in Ireland in the 90s. (The cousins have Irish roots but were raised in America.)

Now a police detective on Long Island, Maggie learns there has been a possible new development in her cousin's case, which has tentatively been linked to those of other missing or murdered women and a young girl who has just been abducted. On behalf of her uncle, Erin's father, Maggie heads back to Ireland to meet with the Garda and assess the new developments.

The story switches between the past and the present, as Maggie also spent time in Ireland immediately after her cousin's disappearance, meeting with the Garda and doing a little looking around on her own.

This is an intricate story that takes some time to set up the history of the case and all the relationships. I was feeling a little impatient at first, but got used to the past/present format and, as the search for the most recent missing girl ramped up, began to get sucked in. The last third of the book, when all the puzzle pieces started to fall into place, was really impressive.

Read more of my reviews on JenRyland.com! Let's be friends on Bookstagram!

Thanks to the publisher for providing an advance copy for review!
Profile Image for Dorine.
600 reviews31 followers
February 25, 2021
THE MOUNTAINS WILD by Sarah Stewart Taylor is everything I crave in a mystery thriller. I chose this book because it took place in Ireland, one of my favorite travel destinations. This police procedural travels from Long Island to Ireland during two timelines featuring Detective Maggie D’Arcy in pursuit of her missing cousin.

View photos from Ireland within this review at my blog, TheZestQuest.com.

Although Erin’s disappearance encouraged Maggie’s detective career, she’s still surprised when her Uncle Danny calls with news after 23 years. Danny owns a bar on Long Island and receives a call from the Guarda in Ireland. Due to his health, he encourages Maggie to go back to Dublin to help sort out the newly found evidence.

Maggie D’Arcy is an engaging heroine. Her past relationships, especially with her cousin, filter into the present investigation. She’s modest while inquisitive, avoiding many dumb blunders, something I really dislike in detective stories.

I liked Maggie immediately, something rare as far as suspense female leads for me as a reader. I’m very picky about realism in my thriller reading. This one was always believable. The Irish detail is especially vivid. I felt as if I was back there in Ireland, traveling with D’Arcy. And, I was surprised right along with her, never suspecting the conclusion.

Word of warning – don’t start this late at night or when you don’t have a chunk of time to devour it. Edgy and sometimes worrisome, I couldn’t sleep and pretty much stayed glued until I was done.

I read the currently available Hardcover version in digital form twice in order to fine-tune my review. I’m excited to announce that the paperback will also be available in June 2021.

THE MOUNTAINS WILD is worth a few sleepless nights. The prose is rhythmic – creating a cadence that encourages speed-reading. I’m especially fond of lyrical writing that flows like music, and this one is beautifully rendered. It made me anxious for A DISTANT GRAVE, the next book in the Maggie D’Arcy series, releasing in June 2021 in hardcover, digital, and audio. THE MOUNTAINS WILD is an enthralling mystery thriller with likable lead characters – recommended read!

Review by Dorine, courtesy of TheZestQuest.com. A digital copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review. Thanks in advance for following links and sharing this review on social media. (Photos taken by me in Ireland in 2012.)
Profile Image for Chelsea | thrillerbookbabe.
504 reviews623 followers
May 11, 2020
The Mountains Wild was so atmospheric and beautifully written that I couldn’t help but fall in love with it. Thank you so much to Minotaur and Sarah Stewart Taylor for sharing this ARC with me- it was truly stunning. The story captures your attention but also your imagination right from the very first page.

Thoughts: I loved the main character Maggie. She was realistic and had depth, and I could resonate with her story. She was spirited and dynamic, and I loved following her journey to see what happened to her cousin Erin, who disappeared 23 years ago. I loved the images and prose about Ireland, which made me feel that I was really there. All the characters were well written and interesting to read about, specifically Roly and Maggie.

I loved the way the chapters switched back and forth to the present time and when Erin disappeared all those years ago. There were so many little details that made this book a good one, and I hope we see more of Maggie in the future. While Stewart Taylor’s previous books are categorized as cozy mysteries, this was more of an atmospheric mystery or thriller that I enjoyed from beginning to end. The ending of the story made sense and tied everything together in a way that I appreciated. 5-stars for this lovely mystery book.
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