ARC Review: Ask No Questions by Claire Allan

Hi All,

Another week of 2020 has passed and we’re very nearly at the end of this dreadful year. I certainly don’t feel like a magic wand is going to make 2021 any better, but at least we know what we’re going into the new year with.

As we’ve only a handful of weeks left in the year, I’m trying to get some serious reading in. I slacked off when lockdown was still new and fresh and fell behind on my reading challenge. I don’t think I’ll be able to pull it back but I’m certainly giving it a good go.

Book 📖

Since I first read a Claire Allan book, I’ve kept in touch with all of her new work and I want to read them all. Thank you to @AvonBooksUK and @ClaireAllan for this advanced copy of Ask No Questions in return for an honest review. Ask No Questions is due to be published on 21st January 2021 and you can get a copy here.

Description 🔖

In the early nineties, eight year old Kelly Doherty goes missing on Halloween. Shortly afterwards, she is found dead by twins Declan and Niall; her classmates. There was an arrest and conviction made at the time, but journalist Ingrid Devlin has started to investigate the case and finds that not everything is quite right.

As Ingrid starts to dig around in the past, people in Derry aren’t happy, but it doesn’t deter her from getting to the truth. Her challenge is to get to that truth before anyone is hurt.

General Thoughts 🤔

I’ve been a fan of Claire Allan’s books for a while so I have no shame in admitting that there is probably a slight bit of bias from me. I really enjoy her writing and this book was no different. I found that this book had a slightly different pace to her different books. It didn’t feel like there was explosive drama but a slow burn and unravelling of a story.

Of course the book has it’s mysteries, of which none are revealed until the end. There are just enough hints throughout to make you question each character and their integrity, but not enough to make the ending completely obvious.

Characters 👫👭👬

I liked Ingrid’s character. She aggravated me at times, but I actually think it made me like her more. There were moments that I thought she put herself in danger and was careless, but it was all in the name of the investigation and the truth. What her character made me realise is how difficult journalism must be. I can only imagine that it’s a constant conflict between having to report news; whether good or bad whilst also empathising with people that are involved with the story.

I was really interested in the twins and the paths that their lives had taken after the tragedy that had gone through as children. Twins, raised in the same household that both experienced unthinkable trauma, but their lives went in completely different directions.

Writing Style ✍️

The book is only told from two people’s perspectives; Ingrid’s and Declan’s. Ingrid makes up the majority of the book but I loved the way that the author chose to include Declan, but no other characters. I found myself wondering why this was done and thought it was a nice touch to the way that the story was structured.

As I mentioned above, I thought this was slightly slower paced than Claire Allan’s previous books but I found it to be a perfect pace for the story. It was enough tension to keep me reading and on the edge without feeling like my heart was in my mouth the entire time.

Conclusion & Scoring 🏅

I’ve been reading this in the evenings, wrapped up warm with a scented candle burning and it’s been a fantastic companion. I had to keep those pages turning simply because I just had to know! Once I knew it was a fantastic ending, with no stones left unturned. Another great Claire Allan book that I’ll be recommending to friends as soon as it is released.

😍😍😍😍😩

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