One of the best books I’ve read this year.
25 years ago an eight year old girl goes missing during a Halloween night out.
3 days later 10 year old twin brothers Niall and Declan Heaney find her face down in a lake.
The families of the small Northern Irish town of Creggan are devastated and scared.
Ingrid Devlin was two years older than the missing girl and lived in the same town, now she’s a journalist who has written a couple of true crime books, so it’s natural that she is asked to do an anniversary piece on the murder, for the local paper.
What starts out as just a look at the victim, her family and the community, and how they have been affected takes a swing when James Harte, the man convicted of the murder, who was released 7 years ago, contacts Ingrid proclaiming his innocence.
The paper publishes the anniversary article, but Ingrid’s Editor refuses to run anything inflammatory from Harte. In fact the editor orders Ingrid to stop looking at the case. She decides that there is good material for a book and continues her investigation.
It’s not long before intimidating tactics start to persuade her to stop. That just makes her dig her heels in and carry on, but she’s scared, very scared, by what’s happening around her.
This book has a fantastic storyline. The tenacity of Ingrid’s investigation is underpinned by the effect it starts to have on her. How, as evidence starts to sway her thoughts away from what she has accepted as the truth since she was 10, she becomes scared.
The dynamics of the families involved in the incident, the girl’s mom and dad, the twins who found her and their parents is brilliantly written.
The tension in the book ramps up all the way until the last few pages, and in all honesty, I didn’t predict the end. Which is just how I like my crime fiction.
It wasn’t a surprise when I researched Claire Allan and found out she graduated with a Masters in Newspaper Journalism before becoming a renowned reporter in Derry. This book couldn’t have been written this well if the person writing it, hadn’t lived the life of a reporter in that area.
Did I save the best till last. This is certainly in the top 3 books I’ve read this year. So yes I think I did.
Publisher: Avon Pages: 336 Publishing date: January 2021