Ask No Questions By Claire Allan
‘Ask No Questions’ is the fifth book by Northern Ireland author Claire Allan and like her previous books, it’s set in the busy city of Derry where tragedy has broken the hearts of its residents.
Twenty-five years ago, on Halloween night, eight-year-old Kelly Doherty went missing while out trick or treating with friends. Her body was found three days later, floating face down, on the banks of the Creggan Reservoir by two of her young classmates. It was a crime that rocked Derry to the core. Journalist Ingrid Devlin is investigating – but someone doesn’t want her to know the truth. As she digs further, Ingrid starts to realise that the Doherty family are not as they seem. But will she expose what really happened that night before it’s too late?
The story is primarily seen through the narrative of investigative journalist Ingrid Devlin, who’s investigating the murder of 8 year old Kelly Doherty who died 25 years ago. On her anniversary, there’s still many unanswered questions about the little girl’s death but Ingrid is determined to find the answers even if it puts her own life at risk and meeting people that were suspected to be the main suspects.
Claire has developed a great skill of really setting the tone in her Northern Ireland thrillers, she’s takes the readers away from the Troubles and delves into something more darker and sinister and that is the death of an innocent child. Interestingly, the main suspect, was another innocent creature, a man who was a bit quiet, strange and who lived with his mammy, so this instantly made him culpable.
Her writing of this character is sympathetic and poignant, as his life was ruined by society believing that he killed a little girl. Whilst, I found Ingrid to be a hard character, although she was on mission for justice and to finally solve the mystery, I found that she wouldn’t stop at anything to get her byline even if that meant upsetting people along the way. But, as she delves deeper and deeper into the past, her determination only grows even though a fear is growing.
The story is also seen from the narrative from of another character called Declan Heaney, a school friend of Ingrid’s who’s never recovered from discovering Kelly’s body. His life has been blighted by bad decisions and hopes with Ingrid’s help to finally put the past to rest.
Claire writes a great thriller and they are also so easy to get caught up in. For me part of the reason, is the local angle with the locations, culture and dialogue that makes her books so easily absorbed.
A tense story that pulls the reader in, ‘Ask No Questions’ is a well paced thriller filled with twists and secrets that will hook the reader until the final page.
You can buy ‘Ask No Questions’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.