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?’
When a woman’s body is discovered in a cathedral and hours later a young man is found hanging from a tree outside his home, Detective Lottie Parker is called in to lead the investigation. Both bodies have the same distinctive tattoo clumsily inscribed on their legs. It’s clear the pair are connected, but how?
The trail leads Lottie to St Angela’s, a former children’s home, with a dark connection to her own family history. Suddenly the case just got personal.
As Lottie begins to link the current victims to unsolved murders decades old, two teenage boys go missing. She must close in on the killer before they strike again, but in doing so is she putting her own children in terrifying danger?
Lottie is about to come face to face with a twisted soul who has a very warped idea of justice.
I’m so thrilled to be one of the stops on the blog tour for The Missing Ones.
This opens with one hell of a jaw dropping prologue; three children watch in horror as another child is buried and they wonder, which one of us will be next? Absolutely chilling and it sure pulled me in right away. The prologue is set in the seventies then we switch to present day and inside the life of Lottie Parker, a detective in a small town in Ireland. She’s widowed and the mother to three teenagers, and she’s struggling to find a balance between her professional life and her family life. She’s a very well crafted lead, I feel like I really got a good look inside her mind and I understand how she thinks and what motivates her. She’s tough as nails and brash to boot, but in private she has moments of vulnerability that were really endearing. As one murder turns into three, Lottie finds herself cracking under the pressure and making a mess of her life in all areas.
The case leads Lottie and team to St. Angela’s, a home for wayward children that has since closed. The snippets told from the seventies detail the horrors that were occurring there and I have to give a fair warning that there were some disturbing scenes, especially involving children. There was child abuse and sexual abuse and it was pretty graphic and dark. Some of the stuff being outlined was hard to read, but nothing too over the top.
This was an exciting and promising beginning to a new series and a totally spectacular debut, it didn’t read that way and was rather impressive. Gibney created a complex storyline with a pretty large cast of characters making it more difficult to pin down whodunnit. There were twists and turns galore and every time I would make a guess, another direction would be taken leaving me puzzled and trying to work out exactly where this was going, I love that!
This was on the longer side, but it wasn’t filled with fluff, it allowed more exploration of both the central characters as well as a more intricate plot. Besides Lottie, you’re introduced to her partner, Mark Boyd. They had a fantastic chemistry between them and I’m eager to see where the series takes them.
Overall rating: 5/5
Thanks to Bookouture for my review copy.