The Dead Ground by Claire McGowan
First Line: ‘It starts with the smallest thing: the beat of your heart. When everything around you is horror, you focus on that.’
What the blurb says: Stolen. Missing. Dead…
Forensic psychologist Paula Maguire, already wrestling with the hardest decision of her life, is forced to put her own problems on hold when she’s asked to help find a baby taken from a local hospital.
Then the brutal, ritualistic murder of a woman found lying on a remote stone circle indicates a connection to the kidnapping and Paula knows that they will have to move fast if they are to find the person responsible.
When another child is taken and a pregnant woman goes missing, Paula finds herself caught up in a deadly hunt for a killer determined to leave no trace, and discovers every decision she makes really is a matter of life and death…
The Dead Ground is the second novel in the Paula Maguire Series which doesn’t disappoint. Forensic Psychologist Paula is back in her hometown of Barryterrin, Ireland, to help find a missing baby who has been snatched from a local hospital. When a woman is killed, another child is taken and a pregnant woman goes missing, Paula realises this is no ordinary killer and must rely on her instincts to solve the case. But when the killer seems to be one step ahead of Paula every time and she herself is struggling to make a decision that which will change her life – can she really find the missing in time?
The novel is told from the point of view of Paula a strong, independent woman who questions everything and doesn’t stick to the rules. The characterisation in this novel is very strong with many of the characters recurring from the previous book. There is a lot of tension between the characters who are all deliciously flawed in their own way which made it very easy to get sucked into to the story.
The setting really comes to life for me in this novel with the differing landscapes in winter and the backdrop of the ‘troubles’ in Ireland which sets the picture but doesn’t overpower the plot. There is also a lot of raw emotion within the story which made it a great read. Some of the storylines which start in the first book of the series, The Lost, carry over into this book so if you haven’t already I would recommend reading it beforehand. This novel is packed full of pace and suspense with many twist and turns which hooked me from the very beginning – I cannot wait to read the next instalment in the series.
A very gripping and thrilling plot with a captivating cast of characters that will keep you guessing who the real culprit is.
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