The first in a series involving journalist Oonagh O'Neil and detective Davies this was a very emotional read. I had read about the Magdalene homes and laundries and thought this was a horrific way for the Church to behave. There are no excuses when it is said it was symptomatic of their times. Compassion or sympathy as a human being was never part of these places and this story revolves around the children who were born, forcibly adopted and lost forever.
Oonagh knows that something is not quite right when Father Watson collapses on the altar of his church. A cranky priest with whom she has had run ins before, Oonagh is perturbed because she was to have an interview with him on the day he died and she just has an instinct that he was about to go out on a big reveal. Was his death a cover up. When attacks escalate and Oonagh herself is a victim narrowly escaping death the Inspector does know that things are not what they seem. Having to tackle an influential church is a daunting task and one that could get him buried as well.
The story tracks girls in general and one in particular - and the ramifications and trauma to the mind decades later. Unraveling it so that justice of some kind could be obtained for even one woman and some peace of mind is Oonagh's own aim. When her own convoluted love life gets in the way, it adds to the emotional roller coaster she is on.
Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Aria.