As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Published by Quercus, 22 January 2015. ISBN: 978-1-84866-786-0
The internet is a wonderful thing.
also a very dangerous thing, because it’s open to abuse. Whatever precautions
we take, putting information about ourselves online makes us vulnerable.
Crowley’s first novel could be interpreted as a cautionary tale about the
perils of getting involved in chatrooms, but it certainly doesn’t preach to its
readers. Instead it tells a gripping, scary story, peopled by characters many
women can recognize and identify with.
weeks leading up to and following the birth of a baby can be fraught and
challenging, as hormones and lack of sleep make a mountainous learning curve
even steeper. Crowley has clearly been there, and possibly even drew comfort
from a companionable chatroom filled with others in a similar situation. Then,
like all the best writers, she has taken this experience and asked the big
question: What if...?
this case, the what if...? comes down to murder. One of the chatroom members
goes missing, a body is discovered, and the protagonist, a new mum in a new
city, isolated from her friends and extended family, puts two and two together.
The police – actually the Garda, since this is Dublin – ignore her, until
Detective Sergeant Claire Boyle, six months pregnant herself, begins to wonder.
novel is a prime example of the sub-genre they’re calling ‘domestic noir’: a
background of ordinary family life, the tangled threads that lie under the
surface of many women’s everyday existences, the seething maelstrom of emotions
that result. Crowley is a journalist, and trained to observe; she has done so,
meticulously, and the background is full of rich, telling detail.
plot is a twisted thread of frustrations, missed opportunities and flashes of
inspiration on the part of the characters. Crowley saves a final crimp for the
denouement, having misdirected the reader skilfully towards the wrong
best thing about the book is the characters. I felt for feisty Claire,
determined not to let pregnancy hinder her work, and desperate Yvonne, alone in
a strange city. I wanted to slap distant Hannah, the mother-in-law with hidden
depths, and prep-school-boy Flynn, the fast-track detective who becomes
Claire’s reluctant accomplice as she bends the rules. I was exasperated by
Gerry, Yvonne’s charming but demanding TV producer husband.
journalists have ambitions to write fiction; not all of them succeed this well.
Sinéad Crowley is one to watch.
Reviewer: Lynne Patrick
Sinéad Crowley is a journalist and currently work as Arts and Media correspondent
with RTE, Ireland's national broadcaster. Whilst enjoying her job Sinéad set herself the challenge of finishing a novel
before she turned 40. It wasn't, she says ‘a quick process’, She started it while on
maternity leave with her first child and
got a publishing deal just after his fourth birthday! But she was still 39 when
it happened.That book, Can Anybody Help Me is a psychological
thriller which draws on her experiences as a mother and internet user and tells
the story of a young woman who becomes dependent on a parenting website after
her first child is born. Online, can you always know who your friends are? It
was a top five bestseller in Ireland and shortlisted for Crime Book of the Year
at the Irish Book Awards 2014, and it's out now in ebook, trade paperback and
paperback. The sequel, which also features Detective Claire Boyle will be out
Lynne Patrick has been a writer ever since she could pick up a pen,
and has enjoyed success with short stories, reviews and feature journalism, but
never, alas, with a novel. She crossed to the dark side to become a publisher
for a few years, and is proud to have launched several careers which are now
burgeoning. She lives on the edge of rural Derbyshire in a house groaning with
books, about half of them crime fiction.