Book Review: Ask No Questions by Claire Allan
Ingrid Devlin’s life changed forever the day Kelly Doherty was murdered. Childhood innocence destroyed in a moment, Ingrid never forgot the case, and now, twenty-five years on, she’s a journalist tasked with writing a retrospective. Except, it soon becomes clear that somebody doesn’t want anyone raking over old dirt about the case. Especially not if they might suspect the man convicted of the crime might be innocent.
Claire Allan sets the scene brilliantly here: you can almost feel the atmosphere change on the Derry streets as the kids go from carefree innocence to terror in the space of a single night. There’s an interesting exploration about how a crime such as this has incredibly far-reaching effects, touching not only the victim and their family but many others too, all of whom deal with the trauma differently.
Ingrid’s not always the easiest person to like, particularly since she makes some poor choices in her personal life (having an affair with her married boss), but her tenacity in pursuing the story and her sympathy for the victim and family made her more relatable. It’s her kindness, and her tendency to trust people just because she’s known them a long time, which eventually gets her into trouble. Logically, if the convicted man didn’t do it - and from the beginning, Ingrid thinks he’s innocent - and someone doesn’t want her specifically looking into the case, then the suspect pool is narrowed to those she DID know from back then. This doesn’t seem to occur to her - or in fact the police - but it seemed really obvious to me, which was probably the one flaw I spotted in the book, that nobody even thought of it.
This is a great read with some intriguing twists and turns. Darkly atmospheric, with characters who feel genuine and authentic, I thoroughly enjoyed the read and I’d like to see what comes next for Ingrid. Five stars for a great crime thriller.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.