The Killing House – Claire McGowan (Paula Maguire 6)


The Killing House was published by Headline on 5 April 2018 and is available to buy here

Long-buried secrets are being unearthed. And they’re very close to home…

Forensic psychologist Paula Maguire returns yet again to her hometown to investigate a spine-chilling case in THE KILLING HOUSE, the sixth novel in Claire McGowan’s series. The Paula Maguire series is the perfect read for fans of Michael Connelly and Peter May.

‘A delicious spookiness is added to McGowan’s customary mix of complex characterisation and sweat-inducing excitement, offering a new level of chilling thrills’ – Sunday Mirror

When a puzzling missing persons’ case opens up in her hometown, forensic psychologist Paula Maguire can’t help but return once more.

Renovations at an abandoned farm have uncovered two bodies: a man known to be an IRA member missing since the nineties, and a young girl whose identity remains a mystery.

As Paula attempts to discover who the girl is and why no one is looking for her, an anonymous tip-off claims that her own long-lost mother is also buried on the farm.

When another girl is kidnapped, Paula must find the person responsible before more lives are destroyed. But there are explosive secrets still to surface. And even Paula can’t predict that the investigation will strike at the heart of all she holds dear.

My thoughts

The Killing House is the sixth and final instalment of the Paula Maguire series. It is hard to believe that it has come to an end. After this book, there will be no more Paula Maguire, forensic psychologist and expert on missing persons. Imagine no more Paula/Guy/Aidan love triangle. Plus we will finally have the answer to the mystery of Margaret Maguire.

The most impressive thing about this series has been the insight we have had into life during the Troubles, in Northern Ireland. We have seen how Paula’s family were devastated and left without answers. We have some understanding of what it was like living with violence, danger and checkpoints. We have witnessed the after-effects of the Good Friday agreement, made twenty years ago. Politics in Northern Ireland is complex. We know that Paula has never really recovered, from the trauma of her mother going missing. Aidan also witnessed the murder of his father, as a small child.

The Killing House takes us to the heart of the Maguire family’s dark times. Paula Maguire is working in London, with her old flame Guy. Aidan is still behind bars, for murder. She returns to Ballyterrin for a wedding. Bodies are uncovered at a farmhouse. Paula is asked to assist. Soon a picture emerges, this was a killing house. A place where the IRA tortured suspected informants. This soon connects to Paula, as it appears her mother was held here. Is this the place where Margaret Maguire died? Paula discovers the truth about the past.

Claire McGowan beautifully ties up so many loose ends. What a relief! We get a glimpse into Margaret Maguire’s life and see what happened to her. Paula finally chooses between Guy and Aidan. This was done without an appearance on the Jeremy Kyle Show, complete with DNA test. Paula has dithered about men for so long. I couldn’t take much more of the soap style love life complications. The story ends on the right note. We got a very satisfying conclusion.

This has been such a fine and utterly compelling series. McGowan has shown us a fascinating and dark period of recent history. I am going to miss Paula Maguire and the people in her life. I recommend reading all of the six books. They have been a delight!



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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1 Response to The Killing House – Claire McGowan (Paula Maguire 6)

  1. Great review. The series does sound interesting!

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