The Lost – Claire McGowan (Paula Maguire #1)


The Lost was published by Headline on 11 April 2013 and is available to purchase here

Not everyone who’s missing is lost

Hard-hitting and unputdownable, THE LOST follows Forensic psychologist Maguire back to her hometown in the search for two missing girls. This exhilarating introduction to the Paula Maguire series by Claire McGowan is sure to grip fans of Elly Griffiths and LJ Ross.

‘Claire McGowan is a knockout new talent’ – Lee Child

When two teenage girls go missing along the Irish border, forensic psychologist Paula Maguire has to return to the hometown she left years before. Swirling with rumour and secrets, the town is gripped by fear of a serial killer. But the truth could be even darker.

Not everyone who’s lost wants to be found

Surrounded by people and places she tried to forget, Paula digs into the cases as the truth twists further away. What’s the link with two other disappearances from 1985? And why does everything lead back to the town’s dark past- including the reasons her own mother went missing years before?

Nothing is what it seems

As the shocking truth is revealed, Paula learns that sometimes, it’s better not to find what you’ve lost…


My thoughts

Claire McGowan is a new author to me. And I’m totally impressed!!!

This book is set in Northern Ireland and features Paula McGuire, a psychologist working with the police. McGuire is seconded from London to work in the Missing Person’s Unit in her home town, looking into missing teenagers. She is reluctant to go back and face her past in Ballyterrin. As a reader, you warm to her very quickly. I certainly did. She has a complicated love life, with a boss and an ex boyfriend on the scene. But she cares and wants to know the truth.

What I loved was the weaving of the political with Irish social history. I only know about the ‘Irish Troubles’ in a very limited way. McGowan made me understand the human side and how it impacted on people growing up in Northern Ireland. The social history side related to the treatment of young pregnant girls in a fairly strict religious society. Very fascinating and dark. It is hard to believe to that one part of the United Kingdom can be so very different from the rest.

I really loved this read. It worked for me on so many levels. It was intelligent and it made me reflect. I thought Paula was brilliant. It is a strong crime read that is a dream to read. I found it quite uplifting. I moved straight onto the next book featuring Paula to find out what happens next.


About Northern Crime

Reviewer with a mind of her own. This is a collection of book reviews, which started in 2014. Mostly crime and odd other genres thrown in. Some I loved. Some I loathed. You get the picture.
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