Mary Stewart – The Stormy Petrel

16. The Stormy Petrel by Mary Stewart (1991)
Length: 176 pages
Genre: Contemporary Mystery
Started: 25 February 2015
Finished: 28 February 2015
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 9 April 2014
Why do I have it? I like contemporary mysteries and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.

When Rose Fenemore travels to the island of Moila off the west coast of Scotland, she is looking forward to spending a quiet holiday with her brother Crispin in a paradise filled with seabirds and wild flowers. Remote and lonely, the secluded island seems to Rose to be the perfect place to relax and get away from it all. In fact, the isolated cottage she has rented – advertised as an “ivory tower” – promises to be the ideal retreat where Rose can finish writing her novel, and Crispin can commune with nature – walking, fishing and indulging in his passion for photography.

However, things don’t turn out quite so idyllically. Her brother’s arrival is delayed, and the island’s peace is shattered by the arrival of two men, seeking shelter during a violent summer storm. Each man tells a remarkably different story – conflicting narratives that draw Rose into a web of menace and suspicion.

Rose’s discovery of the stormy petrels – the fragile, elusive seabirds that nest ashore but spend the majority of their lives flying just above the waves – comes to symbolize for Rose her confusion about Ewen Mackay, the man known as the island’s prodigal son, as well as the man who calls himself John Parsons – someone whose account of himself Rose has every reason to distrust.

I enjoyed reading this book – it was certainly interesting and a remarkably quick read for me. However, I must say that I didn’t really find the plot all that suspenseful – at least not as suspenseful as some of Ms. Stewart’s other work that I’ve read. Although I wouldn’t say that this book is Ms. Stewart’s absolute best – compared to some of her other books that I’ve read in the past – it still was quite good. I would give The Stormy Petrel by Mary Stewart an A!

A! – (90-95%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

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