Book Reviews

Dark Mire (Kildevil Cove Murder Mysteries 2) by J.S. Cook at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Bisexual / Contemporary / Law Enforcement / Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Kristin F. on 27-July-2021

Book Blurb

You never know what trouble will rise from the bog.


When the body of an unidentified woman is found in a Newfoundland bog, Inspector Danny Quirke must scramble his team of investigators to find her killer. But what initially seems like a straightforward case soon becomes mired in a tangled web of lies and deliberate obfuscation.


With the strange mutilation of the body—one eye gouged out completely—evidence seems to lead to a fringe religious group with bizarre beliefs. But while the pathologist indicates mushroom poisoning as the cause of death, Danny thinks circumstances point to something more sinister—especially when he begins to receive anonymous messages with links to horrific pictures of damaged human eyes.


Three more bodies join the first, with seemingly nothing to link them but a little girl in a yellow party dress who flits in and out of the mystery like a creature from the old legends. Then an old friend from his childhood reappears, and Danny is forced to confront uncomfortable truths about his own nearest and dearest.


On an island, everyone is a suspect…


Book Review

This is book two in the ‘Kildevil Cove murder Mystery’ series, and I strongly recommend reading book one first. ‘Wind and Dark Water’ sets the location, atmosphere, and the characters for both books, plus ‘Dark Mire’ picks up directly where ‘Wind and Dark Water’ ended.


It could be said, “it was a dark and stormy night” would be most apropos for Dark Mire. This story is dark, a bit psychologically unbalanced, somewhat gripping, and slightly creepy. All at the same time. While the setting is firmly in modern day, elements of Ireland and England’s dark fairy world crept in. This was a combination I greatly enjoyed.


As I mentioned in the review of ‘Wind and Dark Water’, while there are romantic elements this is not a steamy romance. Tadhg and Danny are a couple but they are a tumultuous pairing. Both men are strong-willed (Irish ancestry perhaps?), opinionated, unsure of how to be in a relationship midlife and to a degree, living separate lives. While they weathered the storm of Lily’s illness in book one, new challenges threw obstacles in the way of mutual understanding and that pesky thing called “communication” was severely lacking. Reiterating what I said above, I enjoyed this dynamic. While I like my saccharine-sweet brain-candy romances, every now and then I need something realistic and gritty.


The murder mystery was deftly woven and integrated so many aspects of the island and its inhabitants that I confess to being a teeny bit confused at times. It was here I had my one quirk with the overall plot: a past college acquaintance is in town, it’s been years since Danny and Tadhg had any contact with him, yet Danny continuously referred to this as being a close friendship. I couldn’t reconcile the description of the college relationship, a decade in between, and then declarations of strong friendship. It wasn’t meshing. I could see why the author set it up as such, but it didn’t work for me.


Ultimately, there is a lot happening in this book and I’ve tried to write a review that reflects the overall feeling it left me with more so than resummarizing because it’s just to complicated for that kind of a review. I quite enjoy dark mysteries, the male-male relationship aspect is an interesting component, and the setting is intriguing and refreshing. If those things match your cuppa tea, give this a whirl.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 261 pages/96250 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 30-March-2021
Price $6.99 ebook, $16.99 paperback
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