“I’m scared. I’m tired. And angry. I’m just doing my job. Why can’t people realise that?”
*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Avon Books UK in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***
I’ve enjoyed Claire Allan’s psychological thrillers in the past so I couldn’t resist accepting the invite to read her newest title Ask No Questions… I’ve been looking forward to dive into this story, and I ended up having an excellent time with this psychological thriller. Fans of the genre will be delighted with this story that is part crime, part journalism, part drama and 100% effective.
The first thing that stands out is the setting in Northern Ireland, which really shines through in both the writing style (tone) and the different descriptions of the setting. It shows that the author is from Northern Ireland herself and as a language geek I always love seeing local phrases as well as local culture used. Ask No Questions is partly set in the past: 1994 to be exact, the year of the gruesome murder of a little girl. Most of the story is actually set 25 years after, with only a few flashbacks to the past, but the events of 1994 will be all important to the present storyline. Apart from the flashbacks, we also have two different POVs. The story switches back and forth between Ingrid and Declan as we slowly learn more about the past and see present events taking place. I personally preferred Ingrid’s POV over Declan’s, but I can’t deny that his POV is key to the plot.
I really liked the plot itself as well. The 25 year anniversary of the murder, the journalism angle, the stalking, the threats, the possible false imprisonment, the hints at the past… There are so many different angles included that you will find yourself to be entertained until the very last page. True, I did guess part of the final reveals, but as a whole I found the ending to be satisfying enough. The development of the suspense and building up of tension is more than solid and once this story has drawn you in it will be hard to stop reading… The engaging writing style is part of the charm.
As for the characters… Ingrid’s character was interesting enough and I liked the journalism angle, although I do have to say that I’m never a fan of the whole cheating element. I don’t think this element would actually have been necessary here? As for Declan… His character isn’t exactly likeable, but his POV is very important to the plot and the fact that he discovered the body of the poor girl back then with his brother makes him a fascinating character to study. Just imagine finding something like that as a ten-year-old; how would that affect you as a person?
As a whole, Ask No Questions turned out to be an excellent psychological thriller that is packed with suspense, a horrid crime and an evergrowing tension as you keep turning those pages. If you enjoy the genre, I can definitely recommed her books in general!