Thank you so much to Avon Books for the advance review copy of this superb book.
‘A dark, disturbing and gripping read … Sharon Dempsey will be one to watch!’ Claire Allan, USA Today bestselling author
‘They’re dead. They’re all dead. It’s my fault. I killed them.’
Those are the words of Iona Gardener, who stands bloodied and staring as she confesses to the murder of four people in a run-down cottage outside of Belfast.
Outside the cottage, five old dolls are hanging from a tree. Inside the cottage, the words “WHO TOOK EDEN MULLIGAN?” are graffitied on the wall, connecting the murder scene with the famous cold case of Eden Mulligan, a mother-of-five who went missing during The Troubles.
But this case is different. Right from the start.
Because no one in the community is willing to tell the truth, and the only thing DI Danny Stowe and forensic psychologist Rose Lainey can be certain of is that Iona Gardener’s confession is false….
A creepy, gritty and very compelling crime novel, perfect for fans of Patricia Gibney, Angela Marsons and Jane Casey.
What a stunningly good book this is! It is completely unputdownable.
Right from the very arresting prologue, my attention was grabbed. I could not put this book down, and just kept turning the pages, late into the night.
There’s so much to this gritty and compelling book. It’s a thriller and police procedural, with a forensic psychologist, a gruesome murder, family secrets and lies, all set to the backdrop of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. This is all so cleverly interwoven to create a really dark but authentic story.
As a child growing up in Dublin, I heard about Northern Ireland and the Troubles on practically a daily basis on the News. But this book really gives us a vision of exactly what it was like to live there, to feel the sense of fear and intimidation that permeated everyday life. It gives us a glimpse into the effect on families and communities.
Above all else, this is a superb, and totally compelling read. The characters are so authentic, and I liked both Danny and Rose. They’re both dealing with a lot on their personal lives, and neither are perfect. Their relationship works so well, both as friends and work colleagues.
The plot moves fast, and is very clever. I had no idea who had murdered the victims, nor how it could be connected with the case of Eden Mulligan. When the truth is revealed it’s a shock, with a few twists along the way.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough, it’s a really standout thriller, one of my favourites so far this year.
About the Author
Sharon Dempsey is a PhD candidate at Queen’s University, exploring class and gender in crime fiction. She was a journalist and health writer before turning to writing crime fiction and has written for a variety of publications and newspapers, including the Irish Times. Sharon also facilitates creative writing classes for people affected by cancer and other health challenges.