Benedicta “Ben” O’Keeffe is a solicitor in the Donegal seaside town of Glendara, a place teeming with quirky characters and twitching curtains; scratch away at the town’s thin veneer and unsavoury situations emerge. When the body of Ben’s client Marguerite Etienne is washed up on the shore, Ben notices that what isn’t being said about her speaks volumes. As smart as she is, Ben is a “blow-in” from Dublin, lacking important information that gets passed around among the locals like contraband. Ben’s story is filled with tragedy, which informs her instincts as she investigates Marguerite’s death. Carter creates a real page-turner with this, her second novel, giving us a wonderfully feisty, clever and warm character in Ben, and a supporting cast of wily realtors, flirty artists, colourful booksellers and all-knowing barmaids. “Panic is a hangover cure” is Ben’s opening line, and this says a lot about her dubious work-life balance but ever-active sense of humour that is her shield against the worst of what she has to face.