The Lost by Claire McGowan. Read April 2014.

“Not everyone who’s missing is lost…Not everyone who’s lost wants to be found…Nothing is what it seems”
How can ‘enjoy’ and ‘harrowing’ be used in the same sentence? Because I did enjoy this very harrowing book a great deal, and for only the second time a book has made me question my long time love of crime fiction. Why do I choose to spend a huge proportion of my time immersed in the gory and grim details conjured up by my favourite authors’ imaginations? It shows the power of the author’s writing that it made me think, not only about this story but about my love of a whole genre.
I will need to think more about that and perhaps ask some of my fellow bloggers to contribute to a feature about it, but for now I’m meant to be reviewing ‘The Lost’…
Assigned to the Missing Persons Cold Case Unit in her home town in Northern Ireland, Dr Paula Maguire tries to push memories of her own family history aside. The plot concerns present day missing teenagers whose cases show disturbing similarities to those of 25 years ago. Old friends and new relationships collide as Paula tries, and usually fails, to stick to the rules while the case careers out of control to a breathtaking conclusion.
The central character of Paula, a psychologist, gives us a quirky twist on the usual police procedural and I’m looking forward to reading the next instalment in her story, The Dead Ground, very soon. Recommended for anyone who likes a gritty and gripping read – it will keep you guessing right to the end.

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