Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Review of Little Girl Lost by Brian McGilloway (2011, Macmillan)
After five Inspector Devlin books set along the Irish border, Brian McGilloway turned his attention to a new series featuring Detective Sergeant Lucy Black set in Derry. Like the Devlin books, the legacy of the Troubles haunts the tale, as it would for just about story involving the police in Northern Ireland, and McGilloway does a good job of weaving the past with the present. He also does a decent job of balancing the narrative between Lucy Black’s work and personal life, and in so doing ensures two strong hooks: a pair of interwoven police cases (a young girl found wandering in the snow in ancient woodland and a kidnapped teenager), along with the unfolding personal challenges of an engaging lead character. The result is a nicely constructed police procedural with a compelling plot, a good sense of place and time, and a great deal of heart. The only downsides were a little too many coincidences intertwining the professional and personal and an extra twist at the end felt a little forced. Nonetheless, a solid start to what seems set to be a strong series.