Little Girl Lost

Little Girl Lost by Brian McGilloway

Before I get into the review for Brian McGilloway’s Little Girl Lost I have to mention the book jacket! When I first cast my eyes over the art work, I couldn’t quite get my head around the fact that the book wasn’t set in Sweden or some Scandinavian country – it wasn’t until I saw Derry mentioned a few times that my brain kicked into gear and realised the book was set in Northern Ireland! This is one of my favourite covers in 2010 – nothing fancy – just a good down to earth shot of a little girl, surrounded by snow laden branches – simple but highly effective.

“During a winter blizzard a small girl is found wandering half-naked at the edge of an ancient woodland. Her hands are covered in blood, but it is not her own.

Unwilling or unable to speak, the only person she seems to trust is the young officer who rescued her, Detective Sergeant Lucy Black.

DS Black is baffled to find herself suddenly transferred from a high-profile case involving the kidnapping of a prominent businessman’s teenage daughter, to the newly formed Public Protection Unit. Meanwhile, she has her own problems: caring for her Alzheimer’s-stricken father; and avoiding conflict with her surly Assistant Chief Constable – who also happens to be her mother.

As she struggles to identify the unclaimed child, Lucy begins to realise that this case and the kidnapping may be linked – by events that occurred during the blackest days of the country’s recent history, events that also defined her own girlhood.

Little Girl Lost is a devastating page-turner about corruption, greed and vengeance, and a father’s love for his daughter. “

Little Girl Lost is published by MacMillan and available to purchase in Paperback & Kindle

Little Girl Lost works on so many levels it took me by surprise. An incredibly quick read, the narrative is fluid and unrestrained which in itself led to consistent story development whether dealing with relationship issues, murder, investigations or hospital visitations! A well balanced read that offers so much more depth than I expected.

A milk float driver loses control in the dead of night, a heavy snow fall making driving conditions perilous, he leaves the cabin and notices a young girl looking at him in the distance. Aware the police are on the lookout for a missing girl he calls emergency and DS Lucy Black is sent out to investigate by her senior officer. On arrival she decides not to wait for back up and go deep into a cold, dank wood in search of the girl. Following the ever decreasing tracks, partly filled by the snowfall she finds the girl, covered in blooded pyjamas, cowering at the foot of a tree. Unreactive she is taken to the hospital but one thing is clear – this isn’t the missing girl!

Lucy Black is an interesting character, clearly the main protagonist in Brian McGilloway’s novel, there’s more to her than meets the eyes. A maverick detective sergeant she skirts authority and prefers her independent way of life but once reigned in by her superiors she’s forced to work as a team – but it doesn’t stop her doing things herself!

Working in her own time and often overnight while off duty she develops a connection with the young girl from the woods (Alice) and while no one can seem to make a breakthrough one way or another Lucy manages to pierce her defences. McGilloway shapes her character well – slowly but surely – she works outside the box and always has an opinion – some would call her ambitious, others would call her sassy! I liked her and look forward to following her development in future chronicles.

Little Girl Lost wasn’t as dark as I first expected considering the subject matter of missing girls and Alzheimer’s; it doesn’t hit you in the face, more a slow burner over time. It may sound a contradiction in my earlier statement that the book is a quick read but the way McGilloway has intelligently constructed the various arcs found within, you never feel rushed – yet at the same time you just can’t wait to turn over the page.

He tackles Alzheimer’s disease with a perspicacious sensitivity that entertains and educates at the same time without the need for embellishment.

A cracking read, Little Girl Lost is a thoroughly entertaining crime thriller that will have you reaching for the next page before you are quite ready to do so.

Little Girl Lost is published by MacMillan and available to purchase in Paperback & Kindle

For more information on Alzheimer’s please visit the Alzheimer’s Society in the UK

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1 Response » to “Little Girl Lost by Brian McGilloway – Book Review”

  1. […] “Little Girl Lost wasn’t as dark as I first expected considering the subject matter of missing girls and Alzheimer’s; it doesn’t hit you in the face, more a slow burner over time. It may sound a contradiction in my earlier statement that the book is a quick read but the way McGilloway has intelligently constructed the various arcs found within, you never feel rushed – yet at the same time you just can’t wait to turn over the page.” Milorambles.com […]

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