This review is written with thanks to Bookouture and Netgalley for my copy of The Missing Ones.
There are a number of suspicious deaths in the Irish town of Ragmullin and it falls to DI Lottie Parker and her team to investigate them. The investigation takes Lottie to St Angela's Children's Home. St Angela's has now closed, but the people who worked and lived there are holding on to some horrifying secrets which are now threatening to rear their ugly heads. What happened at St Angela's all those years ago, and who is responsible for the deaths now?
I enjoyed my first introduction to Lottie Parker, a detective with her own demons to battle alongside this investigation. Lottie's personal issues and her struggles to balance her private and professional life mean that she is an easy character to relate to and I was willing her to succeed throughout the novel. As the novel is fairly long, it took me some time to build a full picture of Lottie's character and there are areas of her life that I felt could have been explored in more depth. However, I did gain enough information to pique my interest as to how Lottie's character will develop in future instalments of the series.
The investigation itself is full of twists and turns. At the beginning, I felt that some aspects of the plot were stereotypical, and was concerned that as a result, the novel would become predictable. However, even when I had guessed who the perpetrator was, there was still more to come, and the anticipation that Gibney creates kept me hooked until the end.
Gibney's writing is very descriptive, and as The Missing Ones is set over winter, I could almost feel the cold winds and snow flurries as I read. This helped me to imagine that I was working alongside Lottie, which drew me in further to this intricate plot. The descriptions also helped me to gain a greater sense of place whilst reading the novel. Although the town in which the novel is set is fictional, the sense that most people know each other and the community is close knit is one I recognise from the town in which I grew up, and this helped me to relate to the characters in the novel and their backgrounds.
I look forward to reading more about Lottie Parker in future.
The Missing Ones is published on 16th March and available from Amazon.