I am now loving reading books that are part of a series. The stories are different every time but with each book you find out more and more about the main characters and the character development is great.
I love crime thrillers and love reading new authors. Recently I came across an author that I had heard of before but had never read, Patricia Gibney, and decided to start reading the first book in her D.I. Lottie Parker series – The Missing Ones, and her debut novel.
The Lottie Parker series is set in Ireland and D.I. Lottie Parker is a detective with the Garda Síochána (Gardaí or the Guards). Lottie is in her early forties, widowed with 3 children (all in their teens) and has a very frosty, changeable mood. She is very forceful, opinionated, determined and uses alcohol and painkillers as a crutch but she is very likeable, and she relies a lot on Detective Boyd.
When a woman is found strangled in a cathedral, followed by her work colleague found hours later hanging from a tree outside his home, D.I. Lottie Parker is called in to lead the investigations. The only thing linking the two victims together is their jobs with the council and a strange homemade distinctive tattoo found on their legs. The two are clearly linked and have been murdered for a reason, but why?
When the trail leads to St Angela’s, a former church-run children’s home, that has a connection to her own past, more bodies start to pile up and two teenager boys go missing the case starts to get very personal.
Lottie is now on the hunt for killer with a very warped sense of justice.
What an excellent debut novel. When a book starts with:
The hole they dug was not deep. A white flour bag encased the little body. Three small faces watched from the window, eyes black with terror.
The child in the middle spoke without turning his head. ‘I wonder which one of us will be next?’
you know that you are going to be in for a great story. If this is the quality of the debut novel, I can’t wait to read the rest in the series.
The Missing Ones is an excellent crime novel. It has a well thought out plot and the prologue is chilling, giving an indication as to what the rest of the book will be like. Some of the subject matter can be quite disturbing regarding the abuse within the church in Ireland during the 70s (sexual, mental and physical) and can be a difficult read at times (if you don’t like books with crimes against children this probably isn’t for you – although it has been done in a sensitive way without really graphic scenes and hinting a lot at the abuse rather than describing it).
The plot is disturbing, well thought out and researched well. With twists, turns and subplots you are kept guessing to who the killer is very well (even when you think you’ve nailed it you are then taken on another turn, second guessing yourself).
The characters themselves are all excellent, they are well-described having lots depth and come alive on the page, they are very relatable. Whilst Lottie has lots of problems, the addition of Boyd helps bring out her softer side. The characters in the book feel very real whilst the scenes have been so well put together you can imagine that you are there in them.
The Missing Ones is a story of murder, child abuse, cover ups, and pure evil but has all been put together into a really engrossing and captivating read.
I really enjoyed reading this book. It is engrossing and a well-polished debut novel. It has enough frustration, twists and turns and subplots to keep you guessing and wanting to stay up late into the night reading more. I cannot wait to start reading the next books in the series, they should be fantastic if this is anything to go by.
RRP: £8.99 (Paperback) / £1.99 (Kindle)