C.S. O’Cinneide (oh-ki-nay-da) is a writer and a blogger on her website, She Kills Lit, where she features women writers of thriller and noir. Her debut novel, Petra’s Ghost, is a dark thriller set on the Camino de Santiago in Spain. The book was inspired by real events that occurred when she walked the ancient five-hundred-mile pilgrimage in 2015. Petra’s Ghost was recently selected as one of the “summer’s best horror books” in a review by the Toronto Star, and was included in the Library Journal’s “Wicked Good Reads” list.
The Starr Sting Scale, a tongue in cheek noir and her first book in the Candace Starr crime series will be published in February 2020. C.S. O’Cinneide lives in Guelph, Ontario.
A woman has vanished on the Camino de Santiago, Spain’s ancient five-hundred-mile pilgrimage they call The Way. Not that Daniel, an Irish ex-pat has this much on his mind, as he travels the lonely road to Santiago. He has come to the Camino to finally spread the ashes of his late wife Petra. This is what he needs to do, what he must do before he can move on with his life and back to Ireland to take over the struggling family farm. If he doesn’t, Carn N’Athair, the land tended by countless generations of his ancestors will be lost. But Petra’s ashes remain stubbornly in his backpack, weighing heavy, along with the damning truth of how she really died.
When Daniel meets Ginny, a clever California girl and fellow pilgrim on the trail, he finds himself attracted to her despite his guilt and grief. They begin walking together. But when a nightmare figure starts to follow the pair, their budding relationship is tested along with his sanity. Daniel’s mind steadily unravels along the Gothic backdrop of the medieval path, as he desperately struggles to find a logical explanation for the terrifying things he sees. Ginny knows more than she is letting on, but she holds that secret close to her, one as damning as his own.
Rich with history and twists and turns that echo the ancient path they walk upon, the lines blur between truth and the lies we tell ourselves, reality and madness. We are kept guessing until the end as to the fate of the missing woman, and how it may be connected to the malevolent force that plagues the two pilgrims in their increasingly terror-stricken bid to reach Santiago. But the horror and guilt of what haunts Daniel and Ginny will eventually catch up to them, all along the winding path and through the breathtaking scenery of the world’s most famous pilgrimage, the one they call The Way.