Genre: detective & mystery, thriller
Setting: 2010s, contemporary, Westmeath
Rated : 7 Stars
The hole they dug was not deep, less than three feet.
–Patricia Gibney - The Missing Ones - c.2017
Detective Lottie Parker Book 1
When a woman’s body is discovered in a cathedral and hours later a young man is found hanging from a tree outside his home, Detective Lottie Parker is called in to lead the investigation. Both bodies have the same distinctive tattoo clumsily inscribed on their legs. It’s clear the pair are connected, but how?
The trail leads Lottie to St Angela’s, a former children’s home, with a dark connection to her own family history. Suddenly the case just got personal.
As Lottie begins to link the current victims to unsolved murders decades old, two teenage boys go missing. She must close in on the killer before they strike again, but in doing so is she putting her own children in terrifying danger?
Lottie is about to come face to face with a twisted soul who has a very warped idea of justice. (blurb from Goodreads
My book club selected this as our read for May as the author is a local one, and the town in the book is a fictionalised version of Mullingar, so a lot of people were interested to see how it would play out.
I don’t read a huge amount of thrillers and detective novels so I can’t really compare it to what is out there at the moment, but I found it a very entertaining read. It is quite a big book, the paperback is over 400 pages, but it reads very quickly. Partly I think because the chapters are short so you never feel bogged down.
The main character, Lottie Parker, is an interesting one. Not the most likeable person, but I thought she was quite easy to empathise with. She lost her husband, is trying to raise 3 teenagers by herself, working long and difficult hours, and has issues with her own mother. I don’t think being likeable is a priority for her. I also think that this is a criticism that is aimed more at female characters than male, it certainly came up in our book club discussion, although for the most part I think people could see her side of things.
It also deals with some very emotive issues, concerning the Catholic Church, mother and baby homes, corruption, sexual abuse, and cover-ups.
Overall I enjoyed it, and I think that if you are a fan of thrillers then this is one that you should investigate if you get the chance. It is the first book in a planned trilogy, the second is out in July.