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4.6 out of 5
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  • Excellent!

    "The Killing House" by Claire McGowan is the sixth in the forensic psychologist Paula Maguire series and includes the satisfying and shocking conclusion to Paula's past history. Although I haven't read any in this series there was enough information to bring me up to full speed and I felt very attached to Paula by the end of the book, even though this was my first encounter with her. When two bodies are discovered while renovations are being carried out at a farm, their identities remain a mystery. When Paula Maguire currently living and working in London, returns to her Irish hometown of Ballyterrin to assist in the puzzling missing person's case, an anonymous tip-off claims 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 even she can't predict the investigation will strike at the heart of all she holds dear. Will the mystery of her own missing mother be solved after her 'disappearance' in 1993? The first couple of chapters had me drawn in completely and I knew this was going to be a very compelling book. Claire McGowan writes with such passion for her characters that you truly feel you know everyone personally and I particularly took to Paula, she was very interesting and realistic. I liked the way the story was told in the third person and had an alternating time line. My favourite chapters were the flashbacks to the telling of what actually happened with Margaret (Paula's mother) the day she disappeared and the final ending to the whole story was quite tense and emotional. I'm pleased I've encountered this series albeit right at the end, I'd be happy to still read the previous books in the series to see how Paula's character developed over the years and I'd certainly read more by this very talented and professional author. All in all an excellent thriller based on the 'troubles' in Northern Ireland which gave a saddening insight to how the residents at the time coped and lived during such terrible times. 4.5 stars rounded up to 5

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