2017, Blog Tour, Book review

Cross Purpose by Claire MacLeary #McIlvanneyPrize @ClaireMacLeary @SarabandBooks

I’m absolutely over the moon to be kicking off the blog tour for Cross Purpose by Claire MacLeary. Cross Purpose has been longlisted for the McIlvanney Award for best Scottish crime novel 2017 at Bloody Scotland. Good luck Claire, I’ll be keeping everything crossed.




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 child minding 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.

Publication date – February 23rd 2017

Published by – Contraband/Saraband Books

You can purchase the Kindle copy here and the paperback here.


Set in the Granite City, Cross Purpose introduces us to Maggie Laird and her neighbour ‘Big Wilma’. After Maggie’s husband dies, Maggie is left on her own with a teenage son, debt and no idea how to get herself out of it. In steps ‘Big Wilma’ and an unlikely friendship develops.

Maggie and Wilma are completely different characters, Maggie is quite reserved, quiet and timid where as Wilma is far from shy, she’s quite confident and has a heart of gold. This pair are like chalk and cheese but they develop a lovely friendship and both are brilliant characters. I loved Wilma’s humour, she really is a character.

The story see’s Maggie taking on her husbands business with the help and a little bit of persuasion from Wilma. I enjoyed seeing how they grew in confidence and strength through out the story and seeing how the friendship grew between the neighbours.

Cross Purpose is a real page turner, I was totally hooked from the beginning. MacLeary has created a story that takes us into the depths and murkier side of Aberdeen, down in the sink estates where there’s dodgy dealings, drugs and murder and MacLeary really brings the characters to life sometimes really giving me the shivers. As Maggie and Wilma investigate I was trying to be my own little investigator but with quite a few twists and turns it really turns out that I am rubbish.

This really is a fantastic debut novel by Claire MacLeary  that had me guessing until the end, it had me giggling at the banter between Maggie and Wilma and desperately wanting more from the duo and after living with an Aberdonian for 18 years I love the Doric dialect that’s included.  I could honestly see this being made into a TV series, it would be brilliant on screen as well as in book form. Full of tension and beautifully written, I absolutely loved Cross Purpose and I can see why it’s been longlisted for the McIlvanney Award. I will definitely be recommending it and can’t wait to read more from this dynamic duo soon.

Now I’m awa ben the hoose for a fly an a piece and to caumie doun.

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