Partner in Crime – by Claire McGowan

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On publication of her latest Paula Maguire novels, THE SILENT DEAD and A SAVAGE HUNGER, Claire McGowan picks a Partner in Crime for Paula...

Posted on February 29, 2016 in Guest Author, Partner in Crime
Tags: Author Content, Claire McGowan, Irish Crime

I’d like my main character, forensic psychologist Paula Maguire, to work on a case with another strong woman in crime fiction – Elly Griffiths’s Ruth Galloway. Ruth is a forensic anthropologist, so I like to think they could have a good moan about what it’s like working as a police expert when you’re not an officer, and sometimes clashing or falling in love with your detective colleagues. They could share professional information and maybe even learn from each other.

They could also find plenty of cases to work on together – there is much call for forensic archaeology in Northern Ireland as many bodies of the ‘Disappeared’ are still sadly missing. Paula also gets sent to other places to consult on missing persons’ cases, especially those involving young women or girls. I’m sure she could pay a visit to Norfolk – her latest case is set on a small Irish island which gets cut off due to heavy storms, so she’s used to working in places with treacherous weather and landscape. And she sometimes has to work on cases stretching back into the past, which is inevitable in Ireland.

They would also have plenty to compare notes on in their spare time. Both have been single mothers to baby girls (Paula’s Maggie and Ruth’s Kate) and the baby’s father is either not involved or the situation is complicated. Paula isn’t sure whether her baby’s father is her ex-boyfriend, editor of the local paper, or her (married) colleague in the police, and this leads to lots of heartache. They could discuss childcare arrangements, the possible guilt of having to leave your child with family and friends, and the difficulties of being drawn into big traumatic cases. Paula and Ruth could probably also have a good moan about their love lives and kids over a bottle of wine and some case scene photos of dead bodies. A classic girls’ night out.

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