Penance – Theresa Talbot – 5 star read!

Penance tells the story of the infamous Magdalene institutions and switches between Ireland in the 1950s and Glasgow in the year 2000.
Oonagh O’Neil is a TV journalist who is working on an expose of the truth behind the closure of a Magdalene institution in Glasgow when an elderly priest dies on the altar of a Glasgow church. DI Alec Davis is investigating the death of the priest – Alec and Oonagh know each other from way back but their friendship is about to be tested as Oonagh’s married lover falls under suspicion.
This was a 5 star read for me, I thought the switching between the 50s and the present worked well, the horrors of the Magdalene institutions was heart wrenching but not overly graphic. I was gripped from the opening pages. The book is different from crime procedural as the focus was on the characters and what happened in the institutions in the 1950s and the devastating impact this had on the lives of those affected. I loved Oonagh – she is fascinating and funny at the same time – I had her clearly pictured in my head. I hope that this isn’t the last we hear of her and I look forward to reading more by Theresa Talbot

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