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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.

Claire Allan

Claire AllanA native of the Maiden City aka Derry, Claire Allan was a journalist before she turned her hand to writing books. Now she’s The Irish Times bestselling author of eight women’s fiction titles and ‘Her Name Was Rose’ is her debut thriller with Avon Books.

  1. To readers of the blog who may not be familiar with you or your writing, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into writing.
    Hello! I’m a 42 year old, mum of two (one son, 14 and one daughter, 9) from Derry. I worked as a journalist for 18 years while also writing women’s fiction which was published by Poolbeg Press. I decided to make the leap to writing full time two years ago, which was mildly terrifying! I’ve always written and always loved to read so from a very young age I hoped to one day be a writer. As a journalist I worked for the print media because I wanted to be paid to write for a living. I decided when I was 29, after a very dear friend passed away, to sit down and write my first novel. And the rest is history.
  2. Where do you get your ideas from?
    Ideas can come from the strangest of places. Sometimes it’s a snippet of a conversation, or I can see an interaction between two people which makes me wonder what their story is – and I love making up a story for them. When it came to ‘Her Name Was Rose’ the first line “It should have been me” just popped into my head and refused to leave. I became obsessed with building a character and a story around that line and it developed from there. At the same time, I was intrigued by how social media has changed how we grieve collectively. And how we portray ourselves. It was fun to tease a story out from that.
  3. If you could rewrite any book, what would it be?
    Oh Gosh, of my own books? I look on my first book ‘Rainy Days and Tuesdays’ and can see how I’ve learned so much since then. It’s a very raw and ready book in a lot of ways and it has the most “me” in it. I do find it difficult to read, because it raises a lot of emotions for me and my previous experience of post-natal depression. But also, technically, I can see how it could be made a better book. If it’s a question about any other writer’s book? I wouldn’t rewrite any, but I would have loved to have written ‘Rachel’s Holiday’ (Marian Keyes) or the brilliant ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’ (Gail Honeyman).
  4. Her Name Was Rose

  5. You originally wrote female fiction for Irish publishers Poolbeg, what made turn to write thrillers?
    I fell into it by accident. It was never really my intention to write a thriller and to be honest, I would never have believed that I could have. I loved writing women’s fiction and I’m very proud of the books I wrote and published with Poolbeg and I’m eternally grateful to them, especially editor Paula Campbell, for her support over the years. But I did want to write something a little darker. It was put to me by an editor that f I wanted to go darker, I shouldn’t do it in half measures. She gave me permission in a way to unleash my dark side and I found writing a book so completely different to anything I had done before to be a brilliant experience. It was great fun to be a bit evil!
  6. What do you think makes a good book?
    For me it is the combination of a pacey plot but with lots of heart too. I like my books (both that I write and read) to be character driver and to pull at the heartstrings in a myriad of ways. If the reader can relate to the characters in the book (even the bad ones, because no one is simply either bad or good, there are shades of grey in everyone) that goes a long, long way to making a book work for me.
  7. Who’s your favourite literary hero or heroine?
    There’s no secret that my literary hero is Marian Keyes. I read ‘Rachel’s Holiday’ when I was a 21 year old student in Belfast and I have read each and every Marian book since. I feel as if I’ve grown up with her. Her books opened up a new world to me – of serious, but jaw-droppingly funny takes on life. Of real characters with real flaws. On a personal level, Marian has inspired me not only with the longevity of her career but the way she has battled her personal demons and helped others by being so very open about those.

    It was a real dream come true when she read ‘Her Name Was Rose’ and agreed to endorse the book. I had to pinch myself.

  8. If you were to start your own book club, what authors would you ask to join?
    Oh my, that’s a hard one! (A brilliant one, but a tough one). I tend to get star-struck around authors but I’d love to get Marian Keyes, Jojo Moyes, Anna McPartlin, Kate Beaufoy and Rowan Coleman all in a room together and talk books. If I could bring back a writer from the dim and distant past, it would be amazing to have Jane Austen in the room, or Emily Bronte – but I fear she might be a bit too emo for me.
  9. What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?
    Genuinely it was to go throttle at everything you write. Let your mind run wild. Don’t be constrained by the person you are day to day, or who you think you should be. Don’t be cautious. Write and love it.
  10. If you were stranded on a desert island, which three books would you bring with you to pass the time?
    Well, the aforementioned ‘Rachel’s Holiday’ which is my go-to read when I’m feeling a bit meh and it picks me up every time. I think I’d also bring ‘Wuthering Heights’ which I keep meaning to re-read. For a new book, I’d bring ‘The Book of Love’ by Irish writer Fionnuala Kearney which will be released in October. I’ve had a sneak peek and it is just the loveliest, most life affirming, beautiful book. I could read it 100 times and not tire of the story.
  11. What area do you suggest a budding writer should concentrate on to further their abilities?
    Read, read and read some more. In your genre and in others. See how other authors get it right, or wrong. Pay attention to structure and what keeps you turning the pages. Pay attention to how dialogue is written. You can’t write without knowing what works.
  12. When sitting down to write, what is the one item you need beside you?
    I’m trying to think of a really, really inspiring answer but the truth is probably a can of Diet Coke to keep me caffeinated
  13. And finally do you have any projects or releases on the horizon which you would like to share with the readers of the website?
    Yes! While all eyes are on ‘Her Name Was Rose’, I’m also working on my second thriller ‘Apple of My Eye’ which is about a mother’s obsession with her daughter – and which will be published by Avon in January 2019. I’m also playing with a few ideas for a third thriller. It’s at the exciting stage where new characters are just starting to form in my head.

Follow Claire Allan on Twitter Claire Allan for updates or check out her website at Claire Allan

You can buy Her Name Was Rose from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.