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The Lost by Claire McGowan
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This series takes place in Northern Ireland. Lots of history of the political issues of the North and South of Ireland in the 80's. Characters are well-drawn and the story of the missing girls is well-plotted with lots of twists that kept things interesting. ( )
  EadieB | Jan 2, 2018 |
Paula Maguire has made a name for herself as a forensic psychologist attached to the Metropolitan Police. She is surprised to be pushed into a secondment to Northern Ireland, to the town she left twelve years before with no intention of returning. However two teenage girls are missing and when Paula discovers that another girl recently committed suicide and that this pattern is similar to one from 25 years before then there is a race to solve the crimes. One girl is found with family members and the other is found dead, is this a simple murder investigation or is there more?

This is the debut in a series about Paula Maguire and it is a really promising start. Maguire has a hidden history and only glimpses of it are revealed in this book, her mother disappeared when she was young and she had a breakdown at the age of eighteen. The setting in a border town with memories of sectarianism still close to the surface makes an unusual and welcome addition. Tensions between Catholic and Protestant, between Police and former militia, between English and Irish, between travellers and townsfolk, are all explored. Into this mix is thrown a scandal similar to the Magdalene Homes for unmarried mothers and the impact on society. It sounds complex but the story is carefully plotted with enough twists and turns to keep the reader truly hooked. ( )
  pluckedhighbrow | Jun 26, 2017 |

Ik heb een exemplaar ontvangen van Watleesjij.nu, waarvoor dank.
Claire Mcgowan was voor mij een nieuwe schrijfster hoewel ik nu gelezen heb dat ze in het Engels althans al eerder iets heeft uitgegeven. Hoe dan ook, dit is het eerste deel in een nieuwe reeks omtrent Paula die zich afspeelt in het nog steeds verdeelde (Noord) Ierland.

Als een fan van Britse thrillers en detectives (ook de series op tv) was ik direct nieuwsgierig naar dit boek. Hoewel de meeste van die verhalen zich niet afspelen in Ierland, vond ik het een toevoeging die mij wel bijzonder leek.

Het boek las heel makkelijk en voor mij was het net of ik naar een detective aan het kijken was. De schrijfstijl was erg beeldend en er zat genoeg vaart in. Niet alle vragen rondom Paula zijn al opgelost, dus er is nog genoeg te raden in de volgende delen (die er vast gaan komen). Ik heb erg genoten van het lezen van dit boek, ik zou het zeker aanraden. ( )
  Floratina | May 26, 2016 |
The story of Paula Maguire, a successful (if rule-breaking) forensic psychologist who specialises in missing persons cases. Although working in England when the book opens it is not long before she is drawn back to Ballyterrin, the fictional border town in Northern Ireland where she was born. There a new unit has been established to investigate cold missing persons cases, of which there are a disproportionately high number due to the bureaucratic and political issues associated with policing in the border region. However there’s a current case of two missing girls which the unit becomes involved with due to resourcing issues and a potential link to an old case and Claire is asked to act as a consultant to the team.

Probably the most notable and well-realised element of this novel is its setting. The tension between the current, forward-looking Ireland and the past with all its turmoil is palpable, with many characters having long memories which influence their behaviour and actions. The cases, especially the older cases that Paula becomes keen to look into in more depth, prove to have a particularly Irish flavour to them as the investigation starts to narrow in on a religious sect that has operated in the region and possible links to the disappearances and mistreatment of young, pregnant women. There is a very realistic feel to the ebbs and flows of this element of the novel, with some people wanting to be ’over’ the past (or at least to look as if they are) and others still wanting old issues resolved. I liked the range of characters too with Paula being ably supported by a grouchy father (a former police officer), an old boyfriend turned local newspaper editor and a suitably engaging group of colleagues.

Although it started strongly the story itself was, overall, a bit messy and underdone for my tastes, drawing heavily on the standard tropes of the genre and not really taking them anywhere original. Especially towards the end, when Paula’s boss’ family becomes involved in the case and Paula engages in a series of increasingly daft and perilous actions, I was rolling my eyes a bit at the soap opera quality. That said the resolution to the main case does hang together credibly and I was definitely engaged enough to keep reading.

On balance then my first read for my unofficial challenge to track down crime fiction by Irish women writers has been a success. I particularly enjoyed the contemporary Irish feel and it was good to see that some of the social issues that were touched upon, such as the treatment of gypsy families, had nothing at all to do with the Troubles.
  bsquaredinoz | Jan 27, 2014 |
Having read and enjoyed Claire McGowan's first book, The Fall, I was looking forward to reading The Lost, which is the first in a series of books featuring psychologist, Paula McGuire. With her own demons having kept her away from her childhood home in Ballyterrin, Northern Ireland, for 12 years, she finds herself back there helping on the investigation into some missing girls. She meets up with old flame, Aidan O'Hara, and also has an unexpected start to working with her new boss, Guy Brooking.

I did enjoy this book, but I expected to like it more, hence my score (if Amazon would let me) of 3.5 stars. The story is good, if a little obvious, same goes for the characterisations.

Overall I found myself not exactly eager to pick it up each time, but I did think it was an easy, readable sort of book and a promising start to a series. ( )
  nicx27 | May 19, 2013 |
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Not everyone who's missing is lost. Not everyone who's lost wants to be found. The start of an exciting new series featuring forensic psychologist Paula Maguire. 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. 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?… (more)

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