Saturday, 25 February 2017

The Lost by Claire McGowan Book Review

The Lost (Paula Maguire 1): (Paula Maguire 1) (Paula McGuire ) by [McGowan, Claire]


Not everyone who's missing is lost

When two teenage girls go missing along the Irish border, forensic psychologist 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.


The Lost is an exciting start to a new series by Claire McGowan. It is Claire McGowan’s second novel - her first novel, The Fall, being a standalone thriller - and with the Dr Maguire series I think I have found a new favourite to add to my reading list.

In Northern Ireland, a new task force, dedicated to finding missing people has been set up in the small town of Ballyterrin. Dr Paula Maguire has joined the new team after returning home after spending time in London. Paula is a forensic psychologist but she has a habit of throwing herself into investigations and isn’t good at following orders. But Paula gets results, and I imagine that she makes most of the police officers who are working on cases jealous and that these officers would like to see the back of her which I’m sure the police in London are glad to be seeing.  

There are many themes in this book which feature heavily in the South of Ireland and Northern Ireland’s dark, modern history. The IRA and the recent scandal of the Catholic Church form the basis of the investigations which the new team are overseeing. I thought the idea of using a forensic psychologist was an interesting one and I was intrigued to see how that would work. In the many crime novels I have read, psychologists are often met with a great deal of skepticism and I was interested to see, from Paula’s point of view, how she gets on with her team.

Paula is a troubled character and it is clear that something has happened in her past, something dark that she has tried to forget. Claire does not reveal Paula’s back story until we are quite a way in and it added an interesting element to the current investigations that were taking place. Paula’s character really grew on me and Claire has left me wanting to find out more about her, so much so that I think I’ll be starting the second book straight away. I still can’t get that ending out of my head and it made me race to download book two.

If you love a good mystery that’ll keep you guessing, this is a book for you. I really liked the plot and how Claire slotted everything into place. The Lost made for a gripping and pacy read; I would definitely recommend this one.

Publisher: Headline

Publication date: 26th September 2013

Print length: 384 pages

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