2020, Blog Tour, Book review

Book Review: Payback by Claire MacLeary @SarabandBooks @ClaireMacLeary @LoveBooksGroup

Today I’m sharing my review for Payback by Claire MacLeary as part of the blog tour. Many thanks to Kelly at Love Books Tours for the invite.

About the book

When police are called to a murder scene at the home of Aberdeen socialite Annabel Imray, they find themselves under pressure to get a conviction, and fast. Meanwhile, local PIs Wilma Harcus and Maggie Laird are at rock bottom, desperate for income. As Maggie contemplates replacing Wilma with an unpaid intern, an eccentric widow appoints them to search for her lost cat – and Wilma goes off-piste to negotiate a loan, with terrifying terms. As the fear caused by a series of sinister break-ins escalates, Maggie blames the aggressive language in public discourse for inciting violent crime. But before long, she finds she is in the danger zone herself.
Will Wilma manage to save her?
Payback will be released April 23rd but is available to preorder now – Amazon

My thoughts

Payback is the fourth book in the Harcus and Laird series and having loved the other three I was quite desperate to read this one. I will say though that if you haven’t read the others this will work as a stand-alone nicely but I do highly recommend you read the others as they are fantastic and I’ve loved following the characters and getting to know them more.

Maggie’s struggling, the business is quiet and the bills are mounting up. Her daughter Kirsty is at uni and away to start her honours, son Colin is about to start 6th year at his private school which doesn’t come cheap and to top it off she’s still waiting for payment from a previous case. Having been given advice from her friend Val, Maggie’s contemplating letting Wilma go and hiring an intern to save money. Luckily Wilma has no idea about Vals advice and like usual Wilma has got Maggie’s back, she ends up hell bent on helping her friend but what will the consequences be?

Things may be quiet for the PIs but the police are being stretched in two, the murder of a young woman, house thefts and a missing cat all need to be solved but there doesn’t seem to be many leads and DI Allan Chisholm is getting it in the neck from them upstairs and needs results fast.

The characters in these books are fantastic and I particularly like Wilma, she’s loud and proud and a right character. She won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but I’d love to go for a drink with her. We get to know a bit more about Maggie though in Payback, she’s quite lonely after her husbands death and realising that she needs to take a bit of time for herself. She’s still a bit snobby, especially where Wilma is concerned but the two have a great relationship, a real friendship. Two very different women but with a great bond.

I love how we basically have two different stories in this book, you have Maggie and Wilma’s and then the police and it’s interesting to read how they all come together. It’s a real mystery that is exciting and intriguing and one I loved trying to figure out.

Payback is another fantastic addition to this series, it was quite an addictive read and I’ve found that with each book. It has a great setting in Aberdeen, it has a clever plot and brilliant characters that feel real. With each page I turned I felt myself getting pulled in further and further and I really didn’t want to put it down.

I’m really excited to see where we are taken next on Maggie and Wilma’s journey and I hope this series continues for a long time. Thoroughly enjoyable and another book I’ll be highly recommending from Claire MacLeary.

I know one person who will be definitely reading this book as soon as it’s available and that’s my Granny in Law (she’s 82), she lives outside Aberdeen in a wee village called Insch and I bought her the first book in this series when it came out and every one since and she’s hooked, loves them just as much as me.

Follow the tour

About the author

Claire MacLeary lived for many years in Aberdeen and St Andrews, but describes herself as “a feisty Glaswegian with a full life to draw on”. Following a career in business, she gained an MLitt with Distinction from the University of Dundee and her short stories have been published in various magazines and anthologies. She has appeared at Granite Noir, Noir at the Bar and other literary events. Claire’s debut novel, Cross Purpose, was longlisted for the prestigious McIlvanney Prize, Scottish Crime Book of the Year Award 2017, and Burnout was longlisted for the Hearst Big Book Award 2018. Runaway is her third novel and continues the Harcus & Laird series.

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