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Published: 23 March 2017

Copy provided by Headline & Netgalley

 

Description:

 Forensic psychologist Paula Maguire returns in BLOOD TIDE, the fifth novel in Claire McGowan’s acclaimed series.

Called in to investigate the disappearance of a young couple during a violent storm, Paula Maguire, forensic psychologist, has mixed feelings about going back to Bone Island. Her last family holiday as a child was spent on its beautiful, remote beaches and returning brings back haunting memories of her long-lost mother.

It soon becomes clear that outsiders aren’t welcome on the island, and with no choice but to investigate the local community, Paula soon suspects foul play, realising that the islanders are hiding secrets from her, and each other.

With another storm fast approaching, Paula is faced with a choice. Leave alive or risk being trapped with a killer on an inescapable island, as the blood tide rushes in…

My Thoughts & Review:

“Blood Tide” is the much awaited fifth book of the Dr Paula Maguire series penned by Claire McGowan.  Having followed this character through the previous four books I was so pleased to receive the opportunity to read an early copy of this to find out what happens next for my favourite forensic psychologist.

For fans of the series, this book goes some of the way to shining light on the mysteries surrounding Paula’s personal life – the tale of her long lost mother and also what’s happening with Aidan.  But this book provides a fresh opportunity for Dr Maguire to test her skills in a case that could prove to be one of the most dangerous she’s investigated.
If you’ve not read any of the series it is possible to read this book without feeling like you’ve missed huge chunks of information.  There is detail aplenty to ensure you are kept in the loop about past events and connections, and Claire McGowan writes in such a way that it’s not repetitive or cumbersome to remind readers about events from the past.

A cleverly constructed plot ensures that readers are kept guessing what will happen next, and the inquisitive Dr Maguire soon suspects that there is more to her newest case than the locals of Bone Island would have her believe.  At first glance it would see that Dr Fiona Watts and Matt Andrews have simply vanished, a bad storm is heading towards the island so an unfortunate accident is the conclusion that the locals have come to.  Paula is not so sure, she feels there is more to this, something about this case doesn’t sit right with her and she is determined to find out the truth.
The darkness of the approaching storm does little to help the claustrophobic atmosphere in this book, menace looms from within the pages.

Narration by Paula is interspersed with narration by Fiona Watts, recounting events leading up to her disappearance.
Running alongside this is the thrilling tale surrounding Paula’s personal life.  Her partner is in jail and she is searching for clues about her long lost mother, whilst juggling motherhood and working.  Hiring a private detective to look into Aidan’s case and also find out details about her mother’s disappearance is second nature to Paula, but what she doesn’t realise is the information is coming from a source she would never have imagined or trusted.  I have to admit, part of me was more hooked by the personal storyline at times, I’ve followed it through several books and cruelly Claire McGowan is holding is captive with the smallest snippets of information, ensuring we are hooked.

I am always impressed with the skill that McGowan possesses in her writing, her ability to simultaneously write in both past and present tenses throughout the novel, with a number of voices narrating and not losing the reader along the way.  The details that are written into the plot give an authenticity to story and the setting – the way in which the Troubles are included give a great insight to readers who may not be familiar with them, but also how the aftermath of it all impacts upon the lives of characters etc.

A superb continuation of the series and one I would absolutely recommend.

You can buy a copy of “Blood Tide” via Amazon here or Wordery here.

About the Author:

Claire McGowan grew up in a small village in Northern Ireland. After a degree in English and French from Oxford University she moved to London and worked in the charity sector. THE FALL is her first novel, which is followed by a series starring forensic psychologist Paula Maguire. She also writes as Eva Woods.

 

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