Friday, 2 October 2015

The Dead Ground - Claire McGowan

"Forensic psychologist Paula Maguire, already wrestling with the hardest decision of her life, is forced to put her own problems on hold when she's asked to help find a baby taken from a local hospital. 
Then the brutal, ritualistic murder of a woman found lying on a remote stone circle indicates a connection to the kidnapping and Paula knows that they will have to move fast if they are to find the person responsible. 
When another child is taken and a pregnant woman goes missing, Paula finds herself caught up in a deadly hunt for a killer determined to leave no trace, and discovers every decision she makes really is a matter of life and death…"

I was lucky enough to meet Claire at a little do at Harper Collins a couple of months ago, where she was attending as her alter-ego, Eva Woods, (The Thirty List) and we got chatting about her crime novels. Claire very kindly said she would send me a copy of The Dead Ground. "Be warned," she said, "I've been told that it's a bit harrowing." And it is - harrowing, emotional and completely addictive. 
After beginning this novel, I realised I had already read the first in the series back when it was first published, so it was nice to meet up with Paula and Aidan again. Their relationship is just as complicated as it was in the first book, if not more so, and other circumstances that Paula finds herself in make things even more tangled. 
The plot line is extremely compelling - even though it is upsetting in some places I was completely unable to put it down. The story moves at a steady pace, and while it doesn't race along, there was enough tension and intrigue to keep me hooked. 
This book can be read as a standalone, but it was nice to already have read the first and have some knowledge of the characters already. 
I found it very enjoyable, despite the difficult subject matter - it was a bit gory in places, but then, I like that. 

The Dead Ground is out now and you can get it here: 

**My thanks to the author for sending me a copy**

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