If like me you are new to reading Claire McGowan then don't worry although this is her second book it is the first in the Paula Maguire series which sees Northern Ireland born Paula already a successful forensic psychologist in London seconded to a cross border unit tasked with tracing missing women. Paula is a difficult but fascinating character. She accepts the new job rather reluctantly returning to her home town of Ballyterrin, a thinly disguised version of Newry the author's home town and moves back in with her retired policeman father. There are all sorts of delicate paths to be trod with an English policeman leading the team a mix of Protestants and Catholics from North and South of the border. McGowan plays to her strengths here with the tension humming under almost every interaction. There are also complications when Paula meets up with old friend Aidan O'Hara now editor of the local paper. On top of that there are the stark facts of two missing teenage girls and cold cases which the team are tasked with investigating. I could have happily gone on reading about Paula and her tangled personal life and her effective if unorthodox detective methods for another two hundred pages. Claire McGowan is a writer at the top of her game and she joins the ranks of top notch Irish crime writers now taking over the book charts. Perfect for fans of Cath Staincliffe, Erin Kelly, Jane Casey and Casey Hill.
Thanks to Veronique Norton of Headline Publicity for sending me this book to review and also Claire's first novel The Fall which I intend to read ASAP.