The Undiscovered Deaths of Grace McGill

The Undiscovered Deaths of Grace McGill by C.S. Robertson - Cover
The Undiscovered Deaths of Grace McGill | C.S. Robertson

The Undiscovered Deaths of Grace McGill is extremely well written, character-driven, powerful and immersive. An all-round 5-star crime read. I loved it. It’s dark, disturbing and unusual.

The main character, Grace, leaps from the page — despite being an unobtrusive person. She is a ‘death cleaner’. When a previously undiscovered death finally comes to light, revealing a decomposing body, she comes in to clean up the gruesome remains.

Grace is careful, thorough and a stickler for detail. When she notices some similarities between a couple of death scenes, she begins to investigate.

I found it strange and wonderful how the author built up such a vivid representation of Grace, from small details and vignettes. She’s dark, intense and vivid behind a semblance of ordinariness, invisibility. At no point is she particularly likeable and yet you can’t help but empathise with her.

I suppose I’m sort of used to this sort of character in crime novels, but they are usually men, and they usually exude testosterone and inner violence. Whereas Grace exudes pain and restraint. It’s a very different vibe indeed.

It’s very difficult to talk about the plot without spoilers. There’s a mystery – a girl who disappeared in the 1960s – and revenge. There are a lot of deaths, one way or another, but it is not gory (at least the killing isn’t!) or bloodthirsty, and there isn’t the silly escalation of ‘evilness’ so common in crime novels now.

I’ll most certainly be looking out for more books by C.S. Robertson

Thanks to Netgalley, the author and the publisher for providing an ARC. All my reviews are 100% honest no matter how I acquire the book.

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The Trials of Marjorie Crowe | C.S. Robertson

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