I first came across Julie Parsons a few years ago when I read The Guilty Heart, a thriller about a father whose son disappeared.
Then, a few weeks ago, I saw a review of The Therapy House, which reminded me that I always meant to read more Parsons work so, I had a look in the local library and found her debut novel, Mary Mary.
Published in 1999 and set in Dublin, Mary Mary is a crime thriller. It begins when Margaret, a psychiatrist, calls the police because her daughter Mary is missing. The police think Margaret is overreacting until Mary’s body turns up in a canal, battered and lifeless.
As the hunt for Mary’s killer gets underway, questions arise about Margaret’s background. Who is Mary’s father? And why does Margaret not tell the police when she receives threatening phone calls?
Investigating the case is Detective Inspector Michael McLoughlin whose marriage is on the rocks and who develops an intense interest in Margaret.
Julie Parsons spins a complex tale
There are a lot of layers in Mary, Mary. Julie Parsons spins a complex plot and writes beautifully. But I found it difficult to sustain interest in the characters, particularly in the first part of the book. And sometimes the descriptions of what the characters observe as they move around Dublin are a distraction that don’t seem to move the story forward. Part 2 is more engaging and produced unexpected twists as the story drew to a conclusion.