Jove, Sep 2003, 7.50, 352 pp.
In Passage South, Ireland, the murder of the American art dealer Evangeline Walter would be difficult enough on the townsfolk, but the way she was tied to a tree on the edge of the Glar River made for an even eerier sight as if she floated on the estuary. The village's only police officer, Garda-Sergeant Francis Recaldo has no experience with homicide, but quickly realizes his “innocence” (as a cop that is, not as a lover of a married woman) is over once he sees the corpse.
Francis begins making inquiries by seeking links between locals and the victim. As he digs deeper into Evangeline's affairs in Passage South, Francis finds himself in the worst scenario he could imagine, as the prime suspect is Cressida Sweeney, his clandestine lover.
Psychological mystery fans know that Gemma O'Connor walks on water when it comes to an entertaining who-done-it with deep characters struggling between self actualization (in terms of duty and honor) vs. personal desires and secrets. WALKING ON WATER has that and more as the police procedural is cleverly designed so that the audience looks over the shoulder of Francis while also seeing inside his gut. The townsfolk and the victim (when she was alive and through the investigation) make the village real and the torn lead protagonist's agony genuine. Ms. O'Connor provides readers with a triumphant perceptual murder mystery.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner