Blood Tide by Claire McGowan

Blood Tide (Paula Maguire, #5)

Oh wow what a lovely cover - definitely a #covercrush kind of book! Cliffs, sea and a lighthouse - it's like my perfect novel! Thanks so much @millieseaward from @headlinepg for sending me a surprise copy of this. Here is my voluntary review of Blood Tide. 

What is it all about?

Called in to investigate the disappearance of a young couple during a violent storm, Paula Maguire, forensic psychologist, has mixed feelings about going back to Bone Island. Her last family holiday as a child was spent on its beautiful, remote beaches and returning brings back haunting memories of her long-lost mother.

It soon becomes clear that outsiders aren't welcome on the island, and with no choice but to investigate the local community, Paula soon suspects foul play, realising that the islanders are hiding secrets from her, and each other.

With another storm fast approaching, Paula is faced with a choice. Leave alive or risk being trapped with a killer on an inescapable island, as the blood tide rushes in...

Who is it all about?

Forensic psychologist Paula Maguire  - this is the fifth novel in Claire McGowan's acclaimed series. How do I keep missing all these crime series? How do they keep passing me by? It is not good for my reputation as a bibliomaniac to realise I am four books late to the party! And it is just getting embarrassing to have to keep admitting that I am discovering these great writers for the first time! 

Did it matter that I'm joining Paula at book 4?

No. McGowan briefs you with any information you may need and her writing style is so easy and engaging I was absorbed in to the story very quickly and with real ease. I guess the beauty of any long running series is that readers will pick them up at any point and will discover them in the wrong order so there must always be provision for this. But not all authors are able to welcome you so deftly to the party and make sure you're not constantly feeling as if you've missed one piece of the jigsaw. 

What did I think of Paula?

As with all multi layered, compelling crime thrillers, it's essential to have a troubled protagonist whose personal life somehow affects the current situation they are dealing with and McGowan manages this effortlessly. I was really intrigued by Paula's back story and the dual plot line about the disappearance of her mother. I haven't read any of McGowan's other books but here she has tackled an emotive and complex theme which I haven't read about in a contemporary novel for a while. At first it seemed very ambitious - a story about disappearances, the IRA and Ireland's troubled history- but again, I was in safe hands. It felt fresh and engaging.  

And the other characters?

All as convincing, intriguing, three dimensional and authentic as you could hope for! 

Where is the book set and what's with the lighthouse?

Ah, well, I can't give too much away obviously, but any readers of my blog will know my love for SK Tremayne, Du Maurier and all things gothic. You can't beat an island for a chilling story and Bone Island ticked all the boxes and lit all the stars for me!! Set off the wild coast of West Ireland, McGowan shows great skill in conjuring up the setting of a remote island and the characters who decided to move there. Hugely well evoked and very atmospheric! 

So, you'd recommend?

Yes I would. There are lots of voices, short chapters, dual story lines and police procedural to keep track of but what I enjoyed most is that it was a really easy book to pick up and get stuck into. I enjoyed the style and I enjoyed the structure. This is an accessible, readable crime thriller. 

Will I read the four books I've somehow missed?

Yes! Although I can't promise when.......! But I would highly recommend them to any and all crime fiction fans, even with only having read one- I can tell they have huge appeal and will make a great series to become addicted to! 

If you like.......

Reviews of Blood Tide come from Peter James, Lee Child and SJ Bolton. If you like their books, you will love this as much as they do! I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys crime series. 

Blood Tide publishes on the 23rd March 2017 with Headline Books. 

Claire McGowan 

Claire McGowan

Claire McGowan grew up in a small village in Northern Ireland. After a degree in English and French from Oxford University she moved to London and worked in the charity sector. THE FALL is her first novel, which is followed by a series starring forensic psychologist Paula Maguire. She also writes as Eva Woods.

For more recommendations and reviews you can follow me on Twitter @katherinesunde3 (bibliomaniacuk) 


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