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Ask No Questions By Claire Allan

Ask No Questions ‘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.

The Liar’s Daughter By Claire Allan

The Liar's Daughter‘The Liar’s Daughter’ is the latest book by Claire Allan.

Joe McKee – pillar of the Derry community – is dead. As arrangements are made for the traditional Irish wake, friends and family are left reeling at how cancer could have taken this much-loved man so soon. But grief is the last thing that Joe’s daughter Ciara and step-daughter Heidi feel. For they knew the real Joe – the man who was supposed to protect them and did anything but.As the mourners gather, the police do too, with doubt being cast over whether Joe’s death was due to natural causes. Because the lies that Joe told won’t be taken to the grave after all – and the truth gives his daughters the best possible motive for killing him.

Claire Allan is back a new thriller that had my attention gripped throughout. Set in the maiden set of Derry, this psychological thriller is a twisted story of lies and deceit. To the outside world Joe McKee, is the perfect man, God fearing Catholic who took over the care of his partner’s child when she died. But there is another side to Joe, that the only people closest to him know about. So when Joe finds out that’s he’s dying, he expects everyone to rally around him, but everyone is actually counting down until he dies and when he suddenly does die, everyone is a suspect.

The story is seen primarily through the eyes of Heidi and Ciara, the daughter of the dead partner and Joe’s biological daughter. They hate each other, Ciara hates Heidi for taking away her father and Heidi hates Ciara for the bullying and pain Ciara inflicted on her whilst going up. But unknown to both of them, they have more in common than they had ever known.

Both women are interesting. Heidi is a new mother who is fiercely protective of her baby, she’s meek and has struggles in her life, whilst Ciara, I found to be quite a dislikable woman. She’s brash, harsh and is always turning on Heidi, who I found myself quite protective off.

The story is written in past and present tenses and really helps with characters development and shows the reader why both women behave in such a way. I despised Joe, Claire really achieved an instant hateful man who’s slime and sleaze oozed off the pages. So when he’s killed, it’s understandable why there are so many suspects!

Bleak and atmospheric, this book is a tough book to read, touching on abuse and mental illness, this pacy thriller really gripped my attention. With unreliable characters and suspicious situations and a menacing plot line that really pulls the reader in, ‘The Liar’s Daughter’ is a taunt and twisty story that will have you guessing throughout.

You can buy ‘The Liar’s Daughter’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Forget Me Not By Claire Allan

Forget Me Not‘Forget Me Not’ is the latest book by Claire Allan.

It’s six in the morning during the hottest summer on record when Elizabeth O’Loughlin, out walking her dog, comes across Clare, a victim of a horrific knife attack, clinging onto life at the side of the road. Clare dies minutes later, but not before whispering her haunting last words to Elizabeth. When it becomes clear that Clare’s killer has more than one murder on his mind, Elizabeth has to take drastic action or face losing everything. But what if she can’t stop a killer determined never to be forgotten?

‘Forget Me Not’ is the latest chilling thriller from Claire Allan and definitely leaves you double checking the doors before you go to bed.

In this story we meet Elizabeth, an elderly woman who when out walking her dog comes across a woman assaulted on the road, just as Elizabeth phones for help, the woman dies in her arms. Rachel is heartbroken that her best friend has been murdered, but it seems that the killer wasn’t only after Clare. Rachel, her other friend Julie and even Elizabeth is now being hunted, with threatening notes and bunches of Forget Me Notes left at their doors.

The story is fast paced and is written over a short period of time and in that time a lot happens! Rachel is unhappy in her marriage and finds herself in the middle of a nightmare when her best friend is brutally killed and herself and her family are being terrorised. I felt myself sympathising with Rachel, she seems a kind woman, but her marriage is feeling unsatisfied and she finds herself looking elsewhere for attention.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth has never fully recovered from the sudden death of her only daughter and finds the days long without company.

I used to read Claire’s romantic novels and even though I enjoyed them, she has really found her voice in thrillers. Her writing is clever and her characters are flawed, relatable and that really pull the reader in. In this story, we meet two women who are fundamentally quite lonely in life and struggling, whether it’s a death of a child or an unhappy marriage and for me this made for poignant and gripping reading. As both women find themselves battling against time to save their lives and figure out why they have become the attention of a killer.

Throughout the story, we meet suspicious characters, that puts doubt into the readers’ minds, but nothing prepares the reader for the revelation at the end.

Another thing that I love about Claire’s writing is the colloquialisms and for me, coming from Northern Ireland this adds an element of charm to the dark story.

Suspenseful from the first page, ‘Forget Me Not’ is an exciting and menacing story that will have the reader bursting to reach the final page.

You can buy ‘Forget Me Not’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Claire Allan Reveals New Book – Forget Me Not

Forget Me Not‘Claire Allan has revealed her second book for 2019 called ‘Forget Me Not’

What the back cover says –

I disappeared on a Tuesday afternoon. I was there one minute and the next I was gone. They’ve never found my body…

It’s six in the morning during the hottest summer on record when Elizabeth O’Loughlin, out walking her dog, comes across Clare, a victim of a horrific knife attack, clinging onto life at the side of the road.

Clare dies minutes later, but not before whispering her haunting last words to Elizabeth.

When it becomes clear that Clare’s killer has more than one murder on his mind, Elizabeth has to take drastic action or face losing everything.

But what if she can’t stop a killer determined never to be forgotten?

Sounds like another chilling story from the Northern Ireland author.

You can pre-order ‘Forget Me Not’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from May 30th 2019

Apple Of My Eye Book Tour – Extract

Apple Of My EyeLooking for your next read? Then, why not check out this extract from Clare Allan’s new book called ‘Apple Of My Eye’ and see if it’s next on your TBR pile.

I leave him to sleep. A couple of slices of toast and a cup of decaf tea later, my brain still doesn’t want to switch off. I sit in the living room, trying to distract myself from my thoughts by watching some American TV show in which a bride-to-be has to choose between a brand-new wedding gown or having her mother’s wedding dress remade into something more suitable for a modern bride.

But, of course, my mind keeps drifting back to my own wedding and my own marriage. To my husband lying upstairs resting before his next work trip. I know I should trust him. I think I do trust him. Mostly. But I wonder, should I be asking more questions?

Maybe if I have a look at his emails. His phone. His wallet. Would I find something to confirm my worst fears or would finding nothing reassure me?

I’ve never snooped on Martin before. I’ve never felt the need and I do feel guilty. I actually feel like an actor in a soap opera as I walk to the dining table, where his suit jacket is draped over the back of a chair. Delving into the pockets, I pull out a receipt for a single cup of coffee and a chicken salad sandwich. A half-empty packet of chewing gum. Assorted small change amounting to seventy-eight pence and some fluff.

Not even Columbo could find evidence of foul behaviour in that. Chiding myself, I put everything back as I found it, feeling like I’m the one who’s betrayed him. I suppose I have. I’ve doubted him.
I probably still do, a little.


Taking a deep breath, I remind myself to be mindful. To be in the moment. It’s a method we use with our patients to help with anxiety. Our patients who have real problems. Mine are nothing in comparison.

I read this book recently and it’s a thrilling story about the power of a mother’s love.

You can buy ‘Apple Of My Eye’ from Amazon and is available to buy from other good bookshops.