Publication Date: Available Now from Contraband
Source: Review Copy
Two Women, One Quest, Grave Consequences
When Maggie Laird’s disgraced ex-cop husband suddenly dies, her humdrum suburban life is turned upside down. With the bills mounting, she takes on his struggling detective agency, enlisting the help of neighbour ‘Big Wilma’. And so an unlikely partnership is born. But the discovery of a crudely mutilated body soon raises the stakes… and Maggie and Wilma are drawn into an unknown world of Aberdeen’s sink estates, clandestine childminding and dodgy dealers.
Cross Purpose is surprising, gritty, sometimes darkly humorous – a tale combining police corruption, gangs and murder with a paean to friendship, loyalty and how ‘women of a certain age’ can beat the odds.
Cross Purpose is both wittily funny and quite dark, with a couple of characters I loved very much and a twisty tale of murky dealings in Aberdeen.
First of all the set up was brilliant – Maggie and Wilma are the ultimate odd couple who apart may be fairly usual but together are a total scream. Claire Macleary’s eye for involving dialogue really made this book for me, that plus the fact that all the characters are beautifully drawn and ever engaging.
The plotting is cleverly obtuse, the setting is completely authentic – and also this is an excellent concept taking as it does unlikely and less cliched main protagonists and throwing them into an unusual situation. There are some grim realities within the pages but always that sense of dark, ironic humour to offset the more horrific elements. It works really well and genuinely makes for a page turner.
One of the best things is that it seems likely we will meet Maggie and Wilma again and I for one can’t wait. The grounding for a long and (Mostly) happy collaboration is to be found in Cross Purpose, lets hope they run and run. Although probably not literally.
Clever, involving and beautifully done. Highly Recommended.
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