The Dargan Prophecy
By John Paul O’Prey
When the Duggan brothers, Terry and Tom, discover an ancient archaelogical site on their neighbor’s land while searching for their dog, the community sinks into controversy and murder. First, there is a member of a Druid sect who is found murdered at the site days later. Then the discovery is made that the woman was pregnant at the time of death. The owner of the land, Joe Beatty, is investigated for several sexual assaults, and several people, including the Duggans are witnesses to unexplained phenomena.
This is a complex soap opera-ish type of story with a bit of the weird thrown in. However, the strange aspects-the prophecy-was hard to follow and understand.
Lucy Feeney: Druid, has two brothers
Dominic Phelan: 51, bishop, has a brother
Terry Duggan: owns a dog, separated from wife
Tom Duggan: married, Terry’s brother, smokes, first wife dead, has a child that is not his own
Joe Beatty: coach, married, has a son
Lorcan Delargy: archaeologist, doctorate, wears glasses
Neasa Lafferty: 60ish, freckled, olive green eyes, graying brunette, psychic, married
Barry McLaughlin: archaeologist
A lot of decent characters but no detailed physical descriptions for most, so it was hard to get a mental image of them.
I think there are some good voices here. Conversations stay on track, but they pretty much had to with the length of the chapters and the quick scene changes and time changes. Some of the dialogue, particularly with the police, seemed a bit forced, a bit unnatural. Not that a cop would say these things, just the manner, the phraseology, was off. Heated conversations are on the verge of being formalized. There’s anger but veiled, held in check.
Short chapters. A bit of profanity. Tense changed from past in one chapter to present in the next chapter for no apparent reason, then back to past in the following chapter. I found it difficult to judge passage of time. For instance, in one chapter, Lucy has been persuaded to stay around for three days to see if she can’t be talk out of her involvement in her religion and two chapters later, it sounds as if she left the religious group. But there is no discernible time element.
Some tense problems in a few sentences including dialogue. Example: “If I confronted her directly I feared she may never tell and just leave me.” This should have read “…I feared she might never have told me.”, since the woman being discussed is dead and the person is saying what might have happened.
The story is a bit difficult to follow and I’m not sure whether it’s the vagueness of the characters, the dialogue or the way it’s written throughout. I found myself going back and re-reading from the beginning of the chapter, then catching up to where a particular character left off from the last time he/she was highlighted.
Tension is very low. I would have thought the discovery of the corpse would have been played up a bit more. Little and subdued action.