The first book I read by Siobhan Dowd was A Swift Pure Cry and I thought it was pretty good. I think though, I like Bog Child better. Fergus lives in Northern Ireland in 1980, the year of the hunger strike in Long Kesh prison. In this particular prison, Fergus' brother is interred with other Irish nationalists who refuse to wear the prison garb saying that they committed no crime - they are prisoners of war. The Hunger Strike was to convince the prison grant them this different political status. Set against this backdrop, Fergus and his uncle discover a body in the bog where they were cutting peat out of the ground.
But this isn't a case of murder...of recent murder anyway. The body is old, very old. Felicity and her daughter Cora come to determine the method and time of the child's death. Fergus' parents own a bed and breakfast and Cora and Felicity stay there while they work. Fergus and Cora are drawn together by the Bog Child, who they have named Mel and Fergus must sort out his feelings for her at the same time he is terrified that his brother will die.
I love Irish history so I was drawn to this book from the start. The brief flashbacks to the Iron Age add to the story quite a bit. Fergus must make some hard decisions and he deals with them in a way that seems real. I learned after reading the book that the author passed away in August 2007 and this book was published after her death.