Claire MacLeary: Cross Purpose

 

34401703What the blurb says:

Two Women, One Quest, Grave Consequences When Maggie Laird’s disgraced ex-cop husband suddenly dies, her humdrum suburban life is turned upside down. With the bills mounting, she takes on his struggling detective agency, enlisting the help of neighbour ‘Big Wilma’. And so an unlikely partnership is born. But the discovery of a crudely mutilated body soon raises the stakes… and Maggie and Wilma are drawn into an unknown world of Aberdeen’s sink estates, clandestine childminding and dodgy dealers.
Cross Purpose is surprising, gritty, sometimes darkly humorous – a tale combining police corruption, gangs and murder with a paean to friendship, loyalty and how ‘women of a certain age’ can beat the odds.

My review:

I’ve had #CrossPurpose sitting on my shelves since publication day. I bought the book at Claire’s launch in Waterstones, Glasgow earlier this year – there was no way I could resist after listening to her readings from the book…and Claire’s unique sense of humour meant I was hooked!

Cross Purpose gives us Maggie Laird and her neighbour and unlikely business partner , “Big Wilma”. The two women are thrown together following the death of Maggie’s husband, George. He had been a policeman before being “forced” into early retirement from Police Scotland and had set up his own PI Business. Maggie finds herself in dire straits financially and Wilma convinces her to keep George’s business running. Desperate to clear her deceased husband’s name, Maggie is soon embroiled in some dark and dangerous investigations. Set in some of the least desirable areas of Aberdeen, Cross Purpose is a fast-moving, humorous, yet dark read which leaves you feeling slightly grubby at times, yet rolling around laughing with the two women at others. I loved the doric slang which gave it a real authenticity and having lived in Aberdeen for a short while myself, I found my inner doric voice reading in my head!

Maggie and Wilma are poles apart – Maggie is a petite and quite refined woman who seems to have lived a very sheltered life while “Big Wilma” is as her name suggests, a larger than life, down to earth character who has been around the block a bit but has a heart of gold. On the surface they are an unlikely pairing but strangely they work well together and compliment each other superbly! Their off the cuff humour had me giggling and their determination brings some very unsavoury characters to the fore throughout the book.

This is Claire’s debut novel and much is spent building the relationship between the two woman and laying the groundwork for their new business venture, which means there is more to come from this delightful duo! A couple of times throughout the book, I felt that things were wrapped up just a little too quickly in the circumstances and would prefer to see a bit more depth. However, this does not detract from the fact that it is a stonking debut novel and comes highly recommended. Claire MacCleary is a fresh new voice in Scottish Crime Fiction and this quine is one for the watching!

To buy Cross Purpose you can click on the link below to take you to Amazon purchase page!

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