review by Maryom
It's two years after the events of The Silent Dead and Paula Maguire is getting ready to settle down and marry her teenage sweetheart, though not without a few last minute qualms. She's distracted from her personal life though by the disappearance of a student, Alice Morgan, daughter of an important official in the Home Office. Alice was last seen at the remote church outside Ballyterrin where she was doing research, and an important holy relic has disappeared too - the only traces left behind are some bloodstains. Is it pure coincidence that this is the same spot from which another young woman disappeared, back in 1981? or could the two cases be in some strange way connected?
In this fourth case for forensic psychologist Paula Maguire, a lot has changed - the Disappeared Persons unit has been disbanded, some of its members demoted, others moved away, and Paula's private life seems to have settled down (though maybe not for long).
As with any good crime novel, there are numerous suspects and leads that spin off in the wrong directions, but being Northern Ireland, the past, particularly the years of the Troubles, seems ever-present. So while the team work out the hidden secrets behind the present-day crime, things that have been swept under the carpet in the name of the Good Friday Agreement have a nasty habit of popping up again.
Maryom's review - 4 stars
Publisher - Headline
Genre - adult crime