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 Lost Words"
Best: It's fairly well written, easy to follow and visualise. As far as I can tell it is well linked to real Irish history, something I knew very little about before, so I may have learned something.
Worst: The story is a bit too unremarkable, and Paula tends to come across as annoying rather than impressive. As another reviewer points out, she jumps to conclusions and never shuts up - lucky for her that the author makes her conclusions correct!
I haven't listened to any, but I quite enjoyed reading a free prequel to the series.
No. I spent part of the listen following the text on my Kindle, and I was startled by the number of words (sometimes whole lines) she missed, or got wrong. These are clearly mistakes, and not "reinterpretations" for the audio version. For instance, the book tells us that getting relatives to identify bodies is the worst part of the job BY far; Ms King reads it as the worst part of the job SO far.
She occasionally alters her voice for different characters, but not consistently, and sometimes it's hard to tell who is speaking, or whether a character is speaking at all.
"Dully" is read as "duly". Pronouns get mixed up (he for she, she for I) so it's not clear who is doing what. Someone eats a pasty but she rhymes the word with "hasty" rather than "nasty" so it sounds like she means the adjective. There are many others I could cite; the impression is that she isn't thinking about what she's reading.
Partway through some dialogue, we are told, "They were still whispering." So Ms King whispers the rest of the dialogue, but doesn't go back to whisper the earlier dialogue that was also meant to be whispered. (That might not have been her fault, but it did amuse me.)
I'd watch it on TV.
Going back to the main character, I think if my child was missing, and I was told that Paula was on the case, I'd be pretty worried. In fact, aside from her involvement in finding a missing girl in the prologue, I'm not really sure why she's got the job she has. At times it feels as if she's just a vehicle for the author to deliver her views on the evils of the Catholic church.
I do love a crime novel, even though they can get a bit samey. this, however, was brilliant. the twists at the end were unpredictable until quite late on, the characters were believable (if not all likeable) and having our heroine returning to her home town gave plenty of scope for back story. I'm going to dive right into the second in the series. the narration was great too.
"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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