The Paula Maguire books

Set along the Irish border, this series follows forensic psychologist Paula Maguire and a cross-border team dealing with missing persons in a small Irish town. Paula's got a special insight into missing persons as her mother's been gone since 1993, and a messy personal life to match the complexity of her work. Paula and the team encounter lots of strange and dark cases - read about them below. The series begins with The Lost. 


The Lost


The first book! Paula Maguire is seconded to her hometown of Ballyterrin, full of secrets and a past she just wants to escape. But two teenage girls are missing - is a serial killer at work? Or is the truth even darker?  

The Dead Ground


This is the second book - the one with 'the most harrowing prologue in crime fiction' (sorry!) Paula is battling with a huge personal decision as babies start going missing in a snow-bound Ballyterrin, a month before Christmas. 

The Silent Dead


This is the third book and sees Paula search for five suspected bombers who've been kidnapped. Would anyone miss them? What does justice even mean? Heavily pregnant, Paula faces her toughest challenges yet. A Metro and Times Crime Novel of the Year 2015. 

Controlled Explosions


An exclusive Paula novella, set in 1998, as 17-year-old Paula deals with loss, love, and a summer of parades and bombs. Features Bob Hamilton and explains what happened to PJ's leg. 

A Savage Hunger


Book four sees Paula struggle to build a life for herself and her family, only to have it all threatened. She must search for a college student who's gone missing from an ancient pagan site, along with a priceless holy relic.   

Site Title

Blood Tide

In Book five Paula is stranded on a remote island, where every inhabitant has become a suspect in the case of a missing couple. Meanwhile, new clues arise in the disappearance of her mother.

The Killing House

When two bodies are dug up at an isolated farmhouse, Paula has to help identify a girl no one seems to be missing. But when she learns there could be a connection to her mother's case, it's suddenly very close to home. 

Other stuff



What people say 


'McGowan’s pacy, direct style ensures that the twists come thick and fast.’ 

The Irish Times 



The Sunday Mirror


'A gripping yarn you'll be unable to put down'

The Sun


'A riveting police thriller'

Woman magazine






  • Facebook App Icon
  • Twitter App Icon
  • LinkedIn App Icon

© 2015 by Claire McGowan