Authors: Claire McGowan
Copyright © 2015 Claire McGowan
The right of Claire McGowan to be identified as the Author of the Work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
Apart from any use permitted under UK copyright law, this publication may only be reproduced, stored, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means, with prior permission in writing of the publishers or, in the case of reprographic production, in accordance with the terms of licences issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency.
First published as an Ebook by Headline Publishing Group in 2015
All characters in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Cataloguing in Publication Data is available from the British Library
eISBN: 978 1 4722 0441 7
Cover images © Dougal Waters/Getty Images (figure) & Aardvark/Alamy (landscape). Cover design by Craig Fraser
Ebook conversion by Avon DataSet Ltd, Bidford-on-Avon, Warwickshire
HEADLINE PUBLISHING GROUP
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About the Author
Claire McGowan grew up in a small village in Northern Ireland. After achieving a degree in English and French from Oxford University, and time spent living in China and France, she moved to London where she works in the charity sector and also teaches creative writing. THE SILENT DEAD is her fourth novel and the third in the Paula Maguire series.
About the Book
Male. Mid-thirties. 5’7”.
Cause of death:
Hanging. Initial impression – murder.
Mickey Doyle. Suspected terrorist and member of the Mayday Five.
The officers at the crime scene know exactly who the victim is.
Doyle was one of five suspected bombers who caused the deaths of sixteen people.
The remaining four are also missing and when a second body is found, decapitated, it’s clear they are being killed by the same methods their victims suffered.
Forensic psychologist Paula Maguire is assigned the case but she is up against the clock – both personally and professionally.
With moral boundaries blurred between victim and perpetrator, will Paula be able to find those responsible? After all, even killers deserve justice, don’t they?
By Claire McGowan and available from Headline
The Dead Ground
The Silent Dead
Controlled Explosions (a digital short story)
The Dead Ground
‘Fast paced and engaging’
‘Enthralling . . . evoked wonderfully’
‘Claire’s novels deal with all sorts of modern moral issues’
‘Claire McGowan is a very good thriller writer . . . It’s a gripping and gory read and shows McGowan to be a thriller writer of exceptional talent’
‘This thriller is fresh and accessible without ever compromising on grit or suspense’ Erin Kelly, author of
The Poison Tree
‘A brilliant portrait of a fractured society and a mystery full of heart stopping twists. Compelling, clever and entertaining’ Jane Caey, author of
‘A keeps-you-guessing mystery’ Alex Marwood, author of
The Missing Girls
‘A gripping yarn you will be unable to put down’
‘A clever and pacey thriller’
‘McGowan’s style is pacey and direct, and the twists come thick and fast’ Declan Burke,
‘Engaging and gripping’
‘Taut plotting and assured writing . . . a highly satisfying thriller’
‘Claire McGowan is a writer at the top of her game’ www.lisareadsbooks.blogspot.co.uk
‘An exciting, enthralling and tense read’ www.thelittlereaderlibrary.blogspot.co.uk
‘There is nothing not to like . . . A compelling and flawless thriller’ S.J. Bolton
‘A cool and twisted debut’
‘She knows how to tell a cracking story. She will go far’
‘Chills you to the bone’
‘The characters are finely drawn, and it’s concern for them, rather than for whodunnit, that proides the page-turning impetus in this promising debut’
‘A brilliant crime novel . . . worthy of its label – “gripping”’
‘Hugely impressive. The crime will keep you reading, but it’s the characters you’ll remember’
‘It’s a clever, beautifully detailed exploration of the fragility of daily life . . . The genius of this story is that it could happen to any of us, and that’s why it hits so hard’ Elizabeth Haynes
‘A writer of great talent’ Michael Ridpath
‘Immediate, engaging and relevant,
hits the ground running and doesn’t stop. I readit in one breathless sitting’ Erin Kelly
‘Highly original and compelling’ Mark Edwards
‘Sharp, honest and emotionally gripping’ Tom Harper
‘Stunning. Beautifully written, totally convincing and full of character. Really, really good’ Steve Mosby
‘An amazing first book’ www.promotingcrime.blogspot.co.uk
‘Intelligent and absorbing . . . Highly commendable’ www.milorambles.com
To Sarah and Angela
This book would be substantially different (or possibly flung into the sea by now) without the insightful, comprehensive, and generous feedback I received from my agent Diana Beaumont and my editor at Headline Vicki Mellor. Thank you both so much for all your time and energy. Thanks also to everyone else at Headline, especially Caitlin Raynor and Jo Liddiard.
Thank you to my parents and sister, brothers, and brother-in-law, who put up with me doing a final edit at home, staring at the laptop and muttering to myself, and forgetting to use coasters on the Good Table.
Thanks to Debs and Bob for hosting me at Retreats 4 You in Devon, where I was able to nail down a first draft thanks to all the peace and quiet and wine delivered to my desk.
Thanks to the two lovely bookshop-owning Davids – David Torrans at No Alibis Belfast for all his support, and David Headley at Goldsboro Books London, scene of many a party.
Thank you to Kate Pearson for the loan of her lovely Edinburgh flat.
Thanks to Jamie Drew for some fantastic headshots (and lunch).
Thanks to City University, especially Jonathan Myerson, for offering me gainful employment, and everyone who’s hosted me for a talk or teaching session, especially Arvon Lumb Bank, Guardian Masterclasses, the Belfast Book Festival/John Hewitt Society, and the Derry Verbal Arts Festival. Thanks also to Brian McGilloway and William Ryan for generously including me in events.
Thank you to Dr Laurance Donnelly, forensic geologist and police search adviser, for geology help (any mistakes all my fault of course!)
Thanks as ever to the crime fiction world and all the lovely people in it. Jake Kerridge and Stav Sherez for gruesome lunchtime chat. Katherine Armstrong, Anya Lipska, and Jamie-Lee Nardone for drinks. Theakston’s Old Peculier festival in Harrogate and Crimefest for top-notch book festivals. Imogen Robertson and Ned for dinners and wine. Tom Harper for Scooby Doo inspiration and whiskey. Kevin Wignall for all the fine dining. Thanks to Stuart Neville and Adrian McKinty for including my story ‘Rosie Grant’s Finger’ in the anthology
To my non-criminal friends, for all your support during what has been something of a turbulent writing period – I couldn’t have done it without you. Thanks to Gareth Rubin for help with the title and to everyone who read early drafts, offered me house room, and generally helped me along, especially Alex, Sarah, Angela, Kerry, Kelly, Beth, Hannah, Isabelle, Jillian, Sara, Freya, and Jo.
Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read or review my previous books – it really does mean the world to the writer plodding away on their own. If you have any thoughts on this one, you can contact me at www.ink-stains.co.uk or on Twitter at @inkstainsclaire (or find me on Facebook).