Book Review - With Our Blessing

by Jo Spain (Quercus) ISBN: 9781784295639

From the moment this book begins, you are plunged into the edgy, creepy Irish atmosphere. The plot is based on actual occurrences in the Magdalene Laundries - houses for “fallen women”. 

You probably have a notion that that these places existed, but did you know that the last one closed as recently as 1996? I didn’t. The social issues are still relevant, and were well explored. The plot twists kept me guessing, the characters were well-drawn, and full of colour and depth. The writing was interesting – just enough that it didn’t detract from the plot.

A debut for Jo Spain, she ticked all the boxes for me. The pacing was fast, and with enough humour and warmth to balance the often gritty and chilling undertone. The detectives were likeable, but didn’t have those overdone character flaws, which seem commonplace in most crime novels.

I loved this read, and am delighted that there is another book to come.  

Bev Bouwer


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