Saturday, 3 January 2015

Books Read: Claire McGowan - The Dead Ground

Stolen. Missing. Dead...

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...

Amazon links: Kindle or Paperback

Firstly I must apologise to Claire McGowan and her publishers for the delay in reviewing The Dead Ground which I downloaded from NetGalley last Summer.

The Dead Ground picks up more of less where we last left Paula Maguire in the first book in the series The Lost.  Paula is still living with her father and working with the Missing Persons Response Unit using her experience to help investigate old cases but the unit is soon drafted in on a current case when a newborn baby is snatched from a local hospital but they soon discover that things are not as straightforward as expected...

But whilst Paula is in demand professionally for the insight and expertise she can bring into these cases, the same cannot be said for her personal life which is a mess and she has a lot of decisions to make as well as continuing to make new discoveries about her own mother's disappearance many years ago.

Once again Claire McGowan has written another gripping tale that takes readers into the heart of the action as we follow the twists and turns of the investigation and soon discover that there's more than a simple abduction at play when a ritualistic murder and kidnapping soon follows.  The prologue alone is quite a gruesome read so this is definitely not a book for the feint-hearted but it laid the groundwork for the story that was to follow which was another engaging read.

Although The Dead Ground could probably be read as a standalone I personally would recommend that you read The Lost first to get an introduction to Paula and the other central characters that feature in this series.  Having really enjoyed both books in the series so far I'm eagerly awaiting to see what's next for Paula Maguire.

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