The Snow Girls by Chris Mooney Penguin November 15th 2018
It’s been eleven years since Claire Flynn disappeared – abducted without trace from a snowy hillside, leaving her parents heartbroken.
Investigator Darby McCormick remembers the case. She knows there’s only ever been one suspect, Father Richard Byrne, linked inconclusively to two similar disappearances.
Finally, terminally ill, Byrne is willing to talk. But he’ll only talk to Darby.
She’s expecting a confession – but what she hears is far more disturbing.
And it soon becomes clear that someone is willing to kill to keep this cold case on ice…
I couldn’t be more pleased to open the blogtour for The Snow Girls, a novel I read in two sittings and which will make you think just that little bit more about religion, grief and how far we would go to get justice.
Three girls, all disappeared, the Catholic Church and one priest, Father Byrne all blamed.
When said Priest, Father Byrne knows he has only days to live he calls in Investigator Darby McCormick, to hear what she thinks is his confession, but is that what it will be.
Mooney instantly ramped up the tension and I was left in no doubt that the book would definitely not be one of hearts and flowers.
Mooney didn’t give me what I wanted, he was cleverer than that. Instead, he took me into the mind and thoughts of Mickey Flynn father of Claire, one of the disappeared. What Mooney gave us was a man at odds with the world, a man whose marriage had fallen apart, a life pitted with alcohol, a man unable to move forward with his life. Mooney stripped him apart, laid bare his emotions and irrational thoughts, his anger towards Father Byrne.
Darby McCormick was the only person who seemed able to reason with him, to have any influence, yet Darby had her own demons to face.
The interaction between Darby and Father Byrne was filled with menace. I could feel the tense, electric atmosphere. It was a battle, a battle to see if Darby could hold her nerve, to remain emotionless as she soaked up his vindictive evilness. I loved the narrative and inadvertently found myself holding my breath as I read.
Darby was one tough cookie, her resolve and determination to not let Byrne win, to force the police to see the missing girls investigation to its rightful conclusion.
The pace was unrelenting, the twists and turns Mooney created brilliantly done. What I didn’t see was the direction he would take me, the unexpected ever present, the finale dramatic, having me on the edge of my seat, trying to read as fast as I could to discover the outcome.
The Snow Girls may have had lots of dramatic twists and turns, but its strength lay in its portrayal of human emotions, of the role those we look upto in society have and how they may use that for their own advantage, be it for good or bad.
Mooney provided a balanced view of the Catholic Church and its mismanagement of past child abuse, yet I didn’t feel at any point that he was forcing his own views onto me as the reader, he allowed me to make up my own mind, and to have my own opinions. He raised many questions of which you could debate the answers forevermore and that I think was the point of this novel.
Alongside a complex plot and a cast of brilliantly realised characters Mooney has created a hugely intelligent and though provoking novel that I absolutely loved.
I would like to thank Penguin for a copy of The Snow Girls to read and review and to Sriya Varadharajan for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour
About the author
Hailed as “one of the best thriller writers working today” by Lee Child and “a wonderful writer” by Michael Connelly, Chris Mooney is the international bestselling author of ten novels, most recently the new Darby McCormick thriller Every Three Hours. His fourth book, The Missing, the first in the Darby McCormick series, was a main selection of the International Book of the Month Club and an instant bestseller in over thirteen countries. Chris’s third book, Remembering Sarah, was nominated for an Edgar for Best Novel by the Mystery Writer’s Association.
Chris has sold over one million books, which have been translated into more than twenty languages. He occasionally teaches writing courses at the Harvard Extension School and lives in the Boston area with his wife and son, where he is at work on the next Darby McCormick thriller.