A Christmas Present Recommendation 1

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I’ve had a few people asking me to recommend books to buy for Christmas presents. So, on the run up to Christmas I’m going to make a few recommendations based on books that I have reviewed this year.

The first I’m going to recommend is not a single book but a series of 3 great novels that have all been released in the last 12 months.

Patricia Gibney is an author based in Ireland and started writing as a form of therapy following the death of her husband. The stories she writes are complex, and cover some very nasty, but unfortunately common, crimes.

Her main protagonist is a troubled Detective Inspector, Lottie Parker.

Lottie is a strong character; a single mom, struggling at various times with drink and prescription drugs, but she has strong morals.

The stories in the three books are self-contained,  but the characters run through each book. As much as I loved the books for their gritty, multi-layered, storylines, I loved them even more for their rich characters. Lottie’s Police team, and her family, cause her pride and consternation in equal measures.

If you are looking to buy a set of books for somebody, or just want to treat yourself, this would be my top recommendation for a new series which has started this year.

I have a family friend, Coupons, (as her son calls her Coupons in his blogs its good enough for me) who’s in her 70’s. She’s an avid reader and loves everything from a romance to a bit of crime.

My daughter is 26 and works in the West Midlands Police, she likes realistic hard-hitting crime books.

I have recommended these books to both of them. I know I’m on safe ground when I can tell both of them they will love the Lottie Parker series. They are realistic crime thrillers with tremendous characters.

So my first recommendation for a Christmas Present, from this year’s publications, is a complete, but ongoing series;

The Missing Ones

The Stolen Girls

The Lost Child

Written by Patricia Gibney and published by Bookouture.

The links below are to my original reviews of the books.

They are all available on Amazon

https://nigeladamsbookworm.wordpress.com/2017/01/22/the-missing-ones-patricia-gibney/

https://nigeladamsbookworm.wordpress.com/2017/05/28/the-stolen-girls/

https://nigeladamsbookworm.wordpress.com/2017/09/23/the-lost-child-patricia-gibney/

The Lost Child Patricia Gibney

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You know the saying “You can’t put a good book down”. Well I literally spent every spare waking minute I had reading this book. From page 1, I was hooked and only came out of it when I had to.

After the last page, I was left sat in stunned silence, wondering how I was going to wait for the next instalment of life in Ragmullin. Whatever I write below will never do this book justice so please, bear with me and while I try.

The book starts in the 70’s with a drug addled, alcoholic woman, locking her toddler twins in a cupboard before starting a fire in her house. The woman and one of her twins are committed to St Declan’s Asylum.

October 2015 and DI Lottie Parker is back. Her family has grown, by one, as her oldest daughter has had a baby, and the house is more chaotic than ever. No matter how busy Lottie’s work life is, her kids expect her to be the domestic goddess when she gets home. This is having a bad effect on her, and she is back on the booze at night, and is popping Xanax to get her through the day.

Parker and her team are tasked with investigating the horrific murder of a woman in her own home, discovered by her daughter. The investigation quickly establishes that the dead woman is not who they thought, but her mother; and that the person they first though had been killed is missing.

And so, it starts. This investigation leads the team down all sorts of paths. Why was an elderly woman killed and why is her middle-aged daughter missing?

2 days later a cottage is found burning with 2 men inside, the body count is rising, but is this crime related to the murder of the old lady.

Shock events keep occurring piling more pressure on Lottie, so much so she turns to an old friend, Dr Annabelle O’Shea, in the hunt for more Xanax. In return Annabelle tries to reach out to Lottie about her own problems; but Parker is to immersed in her work, and family, to notice her friend needs help.

As the case continues Parkers own team start to wonder about her ability, but the ever-faithful DS Mark Boyd backs his boss and tries to give her professional and emotional support.

As the body count rises, and drugs are found at one of the scenes, a DI from the National Drugs Unit is drafted in from Dublin, piling more pressure on Parker and her team.

Can the murders be drugs related, or is this another blind alley the team are being pushed down.

Do the crimes of the past have anything to do with the happenings of 2015

As the book progresses the reader learns more about the Ragmullin of the past and I think this quote from the book sums it up nicely

In the 70’s The Priests and the Nuns ruled the roost. The Guards were as twisted as the Priests, and Health had crooked people in every organisation you can think of.”

But what effect is that having in 2015. How many of the crimes are related to each other? Is it possible that Ragmullin is just in the grip of a random crime wave?

The book twists and turns to a fantastic final chapter, which is the biggest surprise I’ve ever had reading a book.

Patricia Gibney first came to my attention last year and this is the 3rd Book in the Lottie Parker series. I have no hesitation in saying they are without doubt my favourite books at the moment.

This story is complex with a plot which has many strands in its 483 pages, but Gibney has a great way of keeping the reader up to date with the plot. She uses staff briefings, and chats between Parker and Boyd, or between Parker and one of her family or friends to review the plot. The reader never gets left behind, but neither do they feel patronised.

In the same way, this book can be read as a stand-alone novel. But why should it. It’s the third book in the best series of Crime Fiction Thrillers there is, and they just keep getting better.

Yes I liked it.

Pages: 483

Publisher: Bookouture

Publishing Date: 27th October 2017.

Available to pre-order on Amazon And why wouldn’t you.T