Blood Tide – Claire McGowan

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Welcome to the final stop on the Blood Tide tour where I am thrilled to be sharing my review of this fabulous thriller!

About Blood Tide

Published: 23rd March 2017 (Headline)Blood Tide

Called in to investigate the disappearance of a young couple during a violent storm, Paula Maguire, forensic psychologist, has mixed feelings about going back to Bone Island. Her last family holiday as a child was spent on its beautiful, remote beaches and returning brings back haunting memories of her long-lost mother.

It soon becomes clear that outsiders aren’t welcome on the island, and with no choice but to investigate the local community, Paula soon suspects foul play, realising that the islanders are hiding secrets from her, and each other.

With another storm fast approaching, Paula is faced with a choice. Leave alive or risk being trapped with a killer on an inescapable island, as the blood tide rushes in…

My Review

Blood Tide is the fifth book in the Paula Maguire series, however it is entirely possible to read as a standalone as I did. McGowan provides enough information on previous events to keep new readers up to date to the back stories as well as staying engaged with the current one.

Paula is a forensic psychologist and is called away to Bone Island, a remote island off the coast of Ireland, to investigate the disappearance of an English couple who have moved to the island and live in the lighthouse. It appears that they have gone into the sea but all may not be what it seems considering the lighthouse was locked from the inside – did they jump together, was it murder/suicide or something else?

Aside from the chilling investigation, Blood Tide also shares with the reader Paula’s personal battles and guilt she carries; Paula is adjusting to life without Aiden, her fiancé (well, very nearly her husband) who is in prison facing a murder following a fight during a drunken night out. She is also being eaten up by the guilt of not telling her colleague, Guy Brooking, that he is indeed her daughter’s father. And, as if this isn’t enough, Paula is also investigating the disappearance of her mother – this storyline adds an extra dimension as its also dealing with the politics of a troubled Ireland as it was presumed that her mother was killed by the IRA however a note that she has since found has shown that Margaret actually left of her own accord.

Now I love a gothic novel and this one ticks all the boxes – the cover gives a glimpse into how atmospheric this book is. Bone Island is extremely remote with only circa 260 residents, it faces off to the Atlantic therefore when there is a storm it means that no one is getting onto, or off, the island. The claustrophobia of the island really comes through McGowan’s descriptions of both the landscape and the storm. Also, everyone knowing everyone in an extremely tight-knit community is completely unnerving in this scenario!

I really enjoyed this book, so much so that I’m planning on going back to the start with this series to catch up on the back story, and I’m also looking forward to book 6!

About Claire McGowan

Claire McGowanClaire McGowan grew up in a small village in Northern Ireland. She is currently Senior Lecturer in Crime Writing at City University London. The Paula Maguire series is under option with the BBC. She also writes as Eva Woods.

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