Published by Hodder & Stoughton on 20 Jan 2022
Genres: Unhinged Woman, Crime & Mystery, Female Detectives, Glasgow Noir, Scottish Crime
Source: Purchased Book
Buy on Amazon
Death is not the end.
For Grace McGill, it's only the beginning.
When people die alone and undiscovered, it's her job to clean up what's left behind - whether it's clutter, bodily remains or dark secrets.
When an old man lies undetected in his flat for months, it seems an unremarkable life and an unnoticed death. But Grace knows that everyone has a story and that all deaths mean something more.
The Undiscovered Deaths of Grace McGill was outstanding!
Nothing fills me with more joy that finding a new crime novel that’s set in Scotland. I’m proud of this wee country but if you thought for a moment that it was all visit Scotland type photographs and inspirational quotes about this wonderous place, you would be sorely mistaken. Yes, we do have the stunning glens, fantastical mountainous peaks, and country parks to die for, but we also have the darker side – the shadows lingering down alleys, constantly waiting and watching, the drug abuse, the violence and the most insidious – the crime.
Grace McGill is a thirty-five-year-old woman living on her own in Glasgow’s Merchant City with her cat, George. She really did remind me of a young hermit – she goes out of her way to avoid the living. She’s not got any real friends worth mentioning and her mother has passed away. The only living soul that she really has any interaction with is her father, a drunken old man, with a huge chip on his shoulder. Grace hates being it at his beck and call, but she views it as her duty.
Grace cares deeply about those that are forgotten. She cleans houses that people have died in for a living. She takes it extremely seriously and feels a sense of responsibility to do the job right on behalf of those that are no longer here. The majority of her clean ups involve a serious amount of cleaning – dead bodies that have lain undisturbed for months at a time. Let me tell you – rather her than me. I could almost smell the decay through the book.
The young woman is tasked with cleaning the flat of one Tommy Agnew, a man that had lain dead for a long time before being discovered. The smell was horrific, his imprint still embedded in the bed, flies, a gelatinous soup of human decay. It’s enough to turn anyone’s stomach but Grace does it with vigour. It is here that she discovers a group photograph taken on Bute which leads Grace down a road she’d never intended on travelling.
The Undiscovered Deaths of Grace McGill was truly complex and asked some harrowing questions about the societal role in looking after the elderly. Grace was a character that was majorly flawed. Her unhealthy obsession with death was rather disturbing. She was a strong, capable character but my god, she’s mightily unhinged with it. You can count on this author to climb the highest mountain, summon the darkest skies to bring you a story that will stay with you long into the wee small hours of the night.
Author of The Undiscovered Deaths of Grace McGill
A former journalist, Craig Robertson had a 20-year career with a Scottish Sunday newspaper before becoming a full-time author. He interviewed three Prime Ministers, reported on major stories including 9/11, Dunblane, the Omagh bombing and the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. He was pilloried on breakfast television, beat Oprah Winfrey to a major scoop, spent time on Death Row in the USA and dispensed polio drops in the backstreets of India.
His gritty crime novels are set on the mean streets of contemporary Glasgow. His first novel, Random, was shortlisted for the 2010 CWA New Blood Dagger, longlisted for the 2011 Crime Novel of the Year and was a Sunday Times bestseller. Murderabilia was longlisted for the 2017 Crime Novel of the Year and shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize. The Photographer was longlisted for the McIlvanney Prize.
He now shares his time between Scotland and California and can usually be found on a plane somewhere over the Atlantic.