Some debts can only be paid in blood.
A rich socialite is found hacked to death in her Dublin home. It’s the beginning of a killing spree that leaves five apparently unconnected people brutally slain.
Kate Hamilton, a brilliant and ambitious detective sergeant, is assigned to the case and soon uncovers the connection between the victims – they were all involved in an illegal adoption scheme which was running in Ireland up to the 1980s.
In a deeply traditional society, unmarried mothers were shamed by their families, forced to give birth in secret and surrender their newborns for adoption, fuelling a lucrative and cruel baby trade.
Now, decades later, it seems someone is taking bloody revenge on those who played a part in the adoption racket.
With each day bringing a new victim, Kate and her team race to stop the bloodshed. But when she discovers she has a personal link with both victims and murderer, Kate realises her own life is in danger as never before.Blood Mothers – the first in the gripping new series featuring DS Kate Hamilton
Gaye admits to a lifelong obsession with crime, and a keen interest in psychology and social history. She credits her parents, who were avid readers, with her love of fiction. When she graduated from Enid Blyton to Agatha Christie at age nine, so began a life of crime… reading.
She enjoyed an award-winning career as a TV Producer/Director working for the BBC, ITV and RTE. She’s always written in her spare time, and during lockdown, when her husband built himself a workshop at the end of the garden, she seized control (peacefully) and renamed it her writing cabin. The result was BLOOD MOTHERS.
Now a full-time writer, she has three adult children and one adorable granddaughter. She lives in Dublin with her husband, to whom she now owes a workshop, two of her grown up kids and two rescue dogs who are not at all grown up, but make for great company at the bottom of the garden.
Blood Mothers is Gaye Maguire’s first book with Inkubator Books.
My thoughts: this was a cracking start to a new crime fiction series, featuring DS Kate Hamilton. The case has a personal connection but not one Kate is immediately aware of.
A series of incredibly brutal killings lead to a private mother and baby home run by the Catholic Church. Someone is taking revenge for the actions of those involved years before, although not on the people directly involved but those more on the periphery, people not carefully protected. The nuns and the Bishop who facilitated the cruel system of forced adoptions are free to carry on their lives, but the victims of this killer are not.
The saddest death is that of Billy, a sweet man with learning disabilities, who worked at the home as the odd job man and bookkeeper, writing down the young women’s details and the births. He’s an innocent, just a little cog in the machine, and has been all but abandoned himself.
But Kate and her colleagues are working through the clues and the mysterious American has left plenty of evidence behind. But the final piece is Kate’s own history, it leads her to the killer and a tense standoff.
Dark, clever, twisting and rather heartbreaking at times, this is an intelligent and compelling read. Looking forward to the next one.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.