The start of an exciting new series featuring forensic psychologist Paula Maguire. Not everyone who's missing is lost. When two teenage girls go missing along the Irish border, Paula Maguire has to return to the hometown she left years before. Swirling with rumour and secrets, the town is gripped by fear of a serial killer. But the truth could be even darker.
Not everyone who's lost wants to be found. Surrounded by people and places she tried to forget, Paula digs into the cases as the truth twists further away. What's the link with two other disappearances from 1985? And why does everything lead back to the town's dark past - including the reasons her own mother went missing years before? Nothing is what it seems. As the shocking truth is revealed, Paula learns that sometimes, it's better not to find what you've lost.
©2013 Claire McGowan (P)2013 Headline Digital
"Either Tana French and Michael Connelly secretly co-wrote this book, or Claire McGowan is a knockout new talent you should read immediately. I'm betting on the latter." (Lee Child)
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"Some good points, some less so"
I enjoyed the setting of this story and the insight into some of the complexities of a border town, heavy with history of the troubles. It also looks at the mindset of some of those communities with regard to teenage pregnancy, abortion and abuse... I do think that more could have been done with the story. It had the potential to be deep but spent a little too much time observing whether the men in the story had nice eyes or wanting to reach out and touch them. There was a little too much personal reflection on the MC's part which delved into the frankly immature (for someone who is supposedly at the top of her field).
The narration was, at best, slightly irritating. The voice was all at the wrong pace, rushing where it shouldn't have and sounding more like a petulant teen (some of that is down to the actual words too) than a professional doctor of psychology. I have rated this fairly low as my main enjoyment came from the back story than the actual story. Again, loads of potential but it's not quite there, even the resolving of the mystery fell short, as if it hadn't quite been thought out.
"All Irish Problems in one go!"
I have to say I enjoyed the book but thought the author was trying too hard to include all well-kown irish problems: St. Magdalen's Laundries, forced adoptions to America, child-abuse, non-existent abortion possibilities, too strong influence of the church, Good Friday Agreement (and hence the "Price of Peace"). On top of that a troubled forensic psychologist with a murky past who comes back to a small town on the border to the South. Nevertheless I liked it. Maybe because it is so rare to listen to an audiobook narrated in a Northern Irish accent. What troubled me a bit was the out-dated language. Sorry, I haven't heard anyone speaking like that who wasn't at least 80. I appreciate that maybe in small secluded communities people still speak like this, but when used by a supposedly mid-thirties forensic psychologist who lived the last years in London it sounded unconvincing.
"The storyline was lost on me"
I was unable to connect at all to this story. Although narration was clear, I found it to be unconvincing. Also the story itself did not, for me, have the right emphasis to grip the listener. As a result I did not finish the book.
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