Ireland in the 1990s seemed a safe place for women. With the news dominated by the Troubles, it was easy to ignore non-political murders and sexual violence, to trust that you weren't going to be dragged into the shadows and killed. But beneath the surface, a far darker reality had taken hold. Through questioning the society and circumstances that allowed eight young women to vanish without a trace―no conclusion or conviction, no resolution for their loved ones―bestselling crime novelist Claire McGowan delivers a candid investigation into the culture of secrecy, victim-blaming and shame that left these women's bodies unfound, their fates unknown, their assailants unpunished.
McGowan’s perspective as a crime novelist and Irish native is unique. Throughout the book, she considers the narrative of safety in Ireland that was perpetuated in her youth. She also reconciles the coordinated resolutions of the crimes in her novels with the realistic complexities of criminal investigations. This book will appeal to fans of true crime and gender studies for McGowan’s empathetic distillation of these crimes ... Thought-provoking, compelling true crime.
McGowan feels a connection to this part of her country’s history. She dives deep into the political, police, and social constructs that could have contributed to the lack of guilty parties ... McGowan lends her novelist’s voice to this nonfiction tale, giving readers revealing access into her mind as a writer and allowing us to sit in on the absurd lack of follow-through on the part of the Irish Gardai (police). McGowan writes for the justice of the lost and murdered women and for change in Ireland.
Readable and thought-provoking, this book reveals that despite efforts at modernization and liberalization, Irish systems of justice and power remain as patriarchal as they are complicit in maintaining a centuries-old culture of silence, suppression, and misogyny ... A chilling book of true crime featuring important social issue concerns.