A Savage Hunger – Claire McGowan



Published on 10th March 2016 by Headline and it’s available here

The fourth in the crime series featuring forensic psychologist Paula Maguire by Claire McGowan acclaimed as ‘Ireland’s answer to Ruth Rendell’ by Ken Bruen.

Victim: Female. Twenty-two years of age.
Reason for investigation: Missing person.
ID: Alice Morgan. Student. Last seen at a remote religious shrine in Ballyterrin.

Alice Morgan’s disappearance raises immediate questions for forensic psychologist Paula Maguire. Alice, the daughter of a life peer in the Home Office, has vanished along with a holy relic – the bones of a saint – and the only trace is the bloodstains on the altar.

With no body to confirm death, the pressure in this high-profile case is all-consuming, and Paula knows that she will have to put her own life, including her imminent marriage, on hold, if they are to find the truth.

A connection to a decades-old murder immediately indicates that all may not be as it seems; as the summer heat rises and tempers fray, can Alice be found or will they learn that those that are hungry for vengeance may be the most savage of all?

My thoughts

It’s hard to believe, we have reached the fourth Paula Maguire! A Savage Hunger thrusts us back into the Northern Irish world of Paula, our complicated mixed up forensic psychologist. In the post Troubles era, the past comes back to haunt Paula in more ways than one.

The main story features a young student, from a local college who goes missing. Alice’s blood has been found at a church and an religious artefact is no where to be seen. This thread of the story is fascinating because of the flashbacks into Alice’s past. Alice has an eating disorder and we start to see what life has been like for her. It is hard not to empathise with what she has been through.

We also catch up with Paula’s crazy love life. She really cannot make up her mind who she wants. She is now the mother of a young toddler and about to marry one of the potential fathers, Aidan. When Guy appears on the scenes, I was willing her to sit down with both men and just sort everything out. Paula is a prime candidate for the Jeremy Kyle Show. You think she would want to know who the father of her baby is?! Claire McGowan is so cruel to Paula.

There was a gorgeous moment in the book, when exactly what I wanted to happen HAPPENED. I could sense it. There will be some super repercussions, I predict.

Just fabulous. I’m glad I deliberately took my time reading this. Such a great series, that I recommend starting from the beginning. You do not want to miss the Paula and her men on going saga! Recommended.





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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