It’s publication day and I’m delighted to be taking part in, and opening up, the blog tour for the latest Oonagh O’Neil book, The Quiet Ones, from Theresa Talbot. I’ve followed this series from the start and I’ve been patiently waiting this one!
Before I share my thoughts, here’s what the official blurb says:
If only someone had listened…
When the supposed suicide of famous Scottish football coach Harry Nugent hits the headlines, the tabloids are filled with tributes to a charitable pillar of the community that gave so much back to sport and to those less fortunate.
But something isn’t right. Normally celebrities are queuing up to claim to have had a very special relationship with the deceased, but investigative journalist Oonagh O’Neil is getting the distinct impression that people are trying to distance themselves from Harry.
Oonagh’s investigation leads her to uncover a heartbreakingly haunting cover-up that chills her to the core… and places her in mortal danger from those willing to protect their sadistic and dark secrets at any cost…
Perfect for fans of Patricia Gibney, Angela Marsons and Cara Hunter.
I’ve been waiting for the return of investigative journalist, Oonagh O’Neil with baited breath and Theresa Talbot did not disappoint me with this latest outing!
Theresa Talbot is fast proving herself to be a writer with a strong social conscience who is not afraid to tackle some serious, emotive and topical issues.
A killer hook opening drew me in and kept me glued to the pages all the way to the very end. The apparent suicide of well known football coach, Harry Nugent, becomes headline news but it is not long before Oonagh realises that there is much more to this story than meets the eye. Her feelings are confirmed when her long standing friend, Detective Alec Davies confirms that it was not suicide, but murder.
What follows is a horrifying, but sadly familiar, tale. Abuse of the vulnerable, conspiracies and cover ups and protection of the rich and the powerful. Sprinkled with a hefty dose of twists and turns, The Quiet Ones, had me crying with rage and sorrow. It completely engaged me. Well crafted and tightly plotted it had me guessing all the way to the very end.
In Oonagh O’Neil, Theresa Talbot has created a believable and likable character, who has wormed her way under my skin. She’s not afraid to stand up for what she believes is right. She is tenacious in her approach and will leave no stone unturned in her quest to get justice. Her own turbulent background, along with the niggling worry that she is being sidelined at work in favour of the new bright young things generation paints realistic picture of what life is like for older women in the media. But she won’t lie down to it and it was brilliant to watch her fight her own corner at the same time as fighting the corner of others. I particularly enjoyed her relationship with trainee journalist, Sophie. Oonagh is certainly the champion of the underdog and it’s not hard to see why she turns to a wee drink every now and then!
Set in Glasgow, the author has created a very real sense of place, often placing me right in the heart of the story, her mention of The Curlers Rest on Byres Road made me smile- my first real date was there! It’s not all dark, some of those brilliant Glasgow one liners make their way into the book and some of Oonagh’s memories gave me a giggle.
The Quiet Ones is interspersed with chapters from the point of view of Tommy Gallagher, relating his memories of Harry Nugent. These memories made for uncomfortable reading when you realise just why Harry Nugent was targeted. However, despite the subject matter, there is nothing gratuitous or graphic about the scenes and Theresa Talbot writes them with sensitivity. There’s also a real sense of authenticity running throughout this book and with subtle similarities to recent high profile cases, it’s a hard hitting and thought provoking read laced with police procedural and investigative journalism.
The Quiet Ones made me angry and it made me cry. It had me screaming for justice for the quiet ones. Once again you nailed it Theresa Talbot and I cannot wait to see where Oonagh takes us next!
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About the author
Theresa Talbot is a freelance writer, journalist and radio presenter, perhaps best known as the voice of Traffic and Travel on BBC Radio Scotland and as the host of The Beechgrove Potting Shed. Prior to working with the BBC she was with Radio Clyde and the AA Roadwatch team. Theresa worked in various roles before entering the media as an assistant in children’s homes, a Pepsi Challenge girl and a library assistant. She ended up at the BBC because of an eavesdropped conversation on a no.66 bus in Glasgow. Her passions include rescuing chickens, gardening, music and yoga.