Cross Purpose – Claire MacLeary
When Maggie Laird’s disgraced ex-cop husband suddenly dies, her humdrum suburban life is turned upside down. With the bills mounting, she takes on his struggling detective agency, enlisting the help of neighbour Big Wilma. And so an unlikely partnership is born.
But the discovery of a crudely mutilated body soon raises the stakes… and Maggie and Wilma are drawn into an unknown world of Aberdeen’s sink estates, clandestine childminding and dodgy dealers. Cross Purpose is surprising, gritty, sometimes darkly humorous a tale combining police corruption, gangs and murder with a paean to friendship, loyalty and how women of a certain age can beat the odds.
My thanks to Sara of Saraband Books for a review copy of Cross Purpose
We first meet Maggie Laird when she is at her lowest possible ebb. Family life has been challenging of late as her husband had been forced to leave his job with the police after allegations of corruption. After scrabbling to make a success of a private investigator business we learn that he has died and left Maggie and their children with a pile of debt and no means to support themselves.
When you are not even left with a good name Maggie is determined to seek justice for her late husband – she knows the corruption charges are not to be believed. However, we realise that Maggie suffers from a lack of self confidence and it is going to take a monumental effort to convince herself that she is capable of gathering the evidence she needs to clear her husband’s name. Step forward Wilma…Maggie’s neighbour and she has more than enough confidence for both of them. The two women are like chalk and cheese but can they combine their talents to overcome the challenges which will face them?
In Cross Purpose Maggie and Wilma will visit some of Aberdeen’s least desirable areas and cross paths with a variety of unpleasant characters. There were some unexpectedly dark topics cropping up in Cross Purpose and it made for uncomfortable reading at times (but those are the stories I enjoy…the edgy and thought provoking ones).
It was refreshing to read a novel where the two principle characters are such contrasting personalities and seemingly finding it difficult to adjust to working together. Their unlikely partnership made this a rewarding read and seeing Wilma’s confidence grow and her self-assurance return was pleasing. But success comes at a price and over-confidence can be dangerous so those plot twists caused me some angst.
With lashings of authentic Aberdeen and a fast paced plot keeping the pages turning, Cross Purpose was a blast to read and is highly recommended.
Cross Purpose is published by Saraband Books and will be released on 23 February. You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cross-Purpose-Claire-MacLeary/dp/1910192643/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1487715826&sr=8-1&keywords=cross+purpose