Publication Date: March 10th From Headline
Source: Review Copy
Alice Morgan’s disappearance raises immediate questions for forensic psychologist Paula Maguire. Alice, the daughter of a life peer in the Home Office, has vanished along with a holy relic – the bones of a saint – and the only trace is the bloodstains on the altar.
With no body to confirm death, the pressure in this high-profile case is all-consuming, and Paula knows that she will have to put her own life, including her imminent marriage, on hold, if they are to find the truth.
A connection to a decades-old murder immediately indicates that all may not be as it seems; as the summer heat rises and tempers fray, can Alice be found or will they learn that those that are hungry for vengeance may be the most savage of all?
So here we are at the 4th in the really very excellent “Paula Maguire” series and with A Savage Hunger Claire Mcgowan took it up a notch (and made me grumble madly at her on Twitter) with her usual mix of current mystery and ongoing trauma for her main protagonists. A real page turner this one, not that the others were any different in that sense, but for me I was hanging off every word this time, waiting to see what would happen.
When Alice goes missing, her family background means that the police team are under a great deal of pressure to sort it out – but nothing is as it first appears, a seeming connection to an old case muddies the waters and Paula has her work cut out for her whilst also trying to deal with a hectic and stressful personal life.
The scene is set and what follows is a twisty turny delight of a crime tale, with some really fascinating characters in the mix, a truly addictive story both in the sense of the case being investigated and in what is happening externally to Paula and her loved ones. It really is a gorgeous mix, beautifully constructed, engaging throughout, with a fair few moments that hit you right where it hurts.
There is that touch of genius, distracting you with one thing, then another – the case Paula is on is an extremely intriguing one, your head is right in that trying to work out what happened both to Alice and all those years ago in the case of another missing girl – Meanwhile Paula is getting ready for a major life event and that adds extra intrigue to proceedings especially if, as I am, you are a huge fan of that particular character. One thing that has to be said about this authors writing is that she has an absolute knack of lulling you into a false sense of security then going BAM hey take THAT! Yes I’m still grumbling now under my breath about book trauma and the ability that clever writers have to make me crazy. Claire McGowan is a clever writer.
Overall this was brilliant. Highly Recommended as is the entire series – if you are a crime fan and have not read these yet then I’d gently suggest giving them a go. I don’t think you’ll look back.
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Happy Reading Folks!