Cover Image: Ask No Questions

Ask No Questions

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Member Reviews

This was a slow paced thriller and whilst I enjoyed the premise of the crime and trying to find out the truth about that night, I just wasn’t heavily invested in the characters.

The chapters are split and told from either Ingrid’s point of view or Declan’s (one of her classmates who found the body). I loved how Ingrid investigated the crime, along with the interviews she had but as a character I disliked her. I felt like she made silly decisions but I suppose she was willing to risk things as an investigative journalist.

There are plenty of little hints / clues scattered throughout that will have you trusting no one and questioning certain characters until the very end.

Overall if you don’t normally read the thriller genre but want to try then I would definitely recommend this book as it does have everything you could want, however for me, who does read a lot of this genre it just didn’t hit that level of intensity that I would want from a crime thriller.
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This wasn’t my favourite read by Allan as I do think it lost momentum after the initial intrigue. I was excited by the premise of Ingrid investigating the anniversary of a murdered child. Ingrid herself has been haunted by memories of what happened twenty-five years ago, but it seems like someone in the community does not want her to re-open the past.

Very early on in the story, Ingrid appears to be threatened by someone who does not want her to re-tell the story of Kelly’s death. With Kelly’s accused perpetrator already released from prison, Ingrid is worried for her own safety. However, as Ingrid gathers more material for her newspaper report/potential book, the threats start to increase. Despite this, I did not get a sense of danger for Ingrid and found the masked threats a little lack-lustre, especially as they seemed to mostly focus on damaging her car.

As crime thrillers go, this was ok but not the best I have read recently. Ingrid, not deterred by the threats to her report and even the violence towards Kelly’s father, continues to ask questions. Based on some of the other characters’ questionable behaviour, I was disappointed to realise that I had partly guessed the outcome of the novel. I think because the cast of characters is reasonably small, there was a higher chance of getting it right – it definitely doesn’t happen too often!

This book is all about keeping Ingrid quiet. But, with her “reporter’s nose”, she is determined to get to the truth, regardless of the warnings. The narrative switches between Ingrid’s perspective and Declan’s – one of the boys who found Kelly’s body that fateful night. I did not feel like I sympathised with either character, even though it is evident that Declan is in the depths of despair. I’m not sure if this was due to characterisation or because I found the plot itself a bit lack-lustre.

My second crime book from this author, I think this was not her best. It’s got all the good ingredients for a crime/thriller, but I just don’t think it was as gripping as it could be. There were not enough questions being raised, even when the violence and threats start to increase over the story.

With thanks to Avon books and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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An intriguing & unsettling book set in Derry. Although told from different viewpoints, it is easy to follow, and the varied voices bring further colour to the story.
At times I felt really frustrated by Ingrid, and my toes curled at her persistence- whilst recognising it was horribly accurate behaviour for a journalist, as Claire Allen knows only too well.
The novel has a dark, strong plot & I felt very uncomfortable when reading it. It is extremely credible which made it both frightening and sad
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4-5 stars

It’s the twenty fifth anniversary of the murder of eight year old Kelly Doherty looming which Jamesy Harte was convicted for though protested his innocence. Kelly’s body was discovered by twin boys Declan and Niall Heaney. Ingrid was ten at the time and is now a journalist investigating the story with a view to publishing a book. However, someone doesn’t want her on the case and as threats mount it’s clear she’s disrupted a hornets nest. The story is told from 1994 and 2019 and from the perspectives of Ingrid and Declan. 

This is a really good novel and shows powerfully how the murder shocked the Derry community to the core and reverberated throughout Norther Ireland. Ingrid herself says that her childhood ends with Kelly’s death and alongside Declan’s recollections it helps us to build the story. The heartbreak and grief of Kelly’s parents Bernie and Liam is described movingly but the whole Creggan and wider Derry community is affected to a greater or lesser degree and nothing is the same again. The tension really escalates as you try to work out if Jamesy  has been the victim of a miscarriage of justice or if the conviction was correct. The menace builds too as does the threat to Ingrid which at times becomes terrifying and you feel her growing anxiety and fear. She’s dogged, brave and determined in her desire to get to the truth though possibly reckless. The twins perspectives are fascinating as you follow the widely different paths their lives have taken as childhood closeness is severed. As the novel reaches the dramatic and unexpected end, the tension, menace, terror and fear is palpable and you understand the depth of the violence, corruption and conspiracy which shocks you to the core. 

Overall, this is a really good novel which is dark and brutal in places but is a compelling and fascinating read.  Highly recommended. 

With thanks to NetGalley and Avon Books UK for the arc for an honest review.
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Ingrid was just 10-years-old when Kelly Doherty. age 8, disappeared on Halloween night.  Three days later, she was found floating face down in a lake by twins Declan and Niall.  That happy and free time for the children of the neighborhood changed immediately in that they could not play outside and had to be accompanied to and from school.  Not long after, Jamesy Harte was arrested and convicted of Kelly’s murder.  He always said he was innocent.  After serving 17 years, he was let out of prison.

Ingrid still lives in the same town and works for the local newspaper, “The Chronicle.”  She is a good reporter and has also written several true crime books.  Her boss, Ryan, editor of the paper, is older than she is and enjoys his power over her.  Since the 25th anniversary of Kelly’s death is looming, Ingrid wants to do a special story for the newspaper.  However, Ryan is against it.  But she is stubborn and is looking to interview Jamesy Harte and Kelly’s family.  Ah, but someone doesn’t want her snooping around as she has a break-in and her car damaged.  Who is hiding a secret?  Did the wrong man serve time for a crime he did not commit?

This book shows the grittiness of how some children are raised and the pain they suffer that many parents know nothing about.
This is a great whodunit.  I thought I had figured out who the “bad guy” was but wasn’t fully correct.  Well done, Claire Allan. 

Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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Hmm how interesting this was. I felt nothing while reading this book. That’s a rare occurrence for me. I didn’t feel a connection to the story, the mystery (which was a bit cliched), the characters (“likable” characters were not likable and “unlikable” characters were... well they just were), the writing, the climax (I did not really care what happened by the end), nor the twist. There was no urgency to keep reading even though it is rather quick with short chapters and easy writing. I’ve come to the conclusion that this book was just fine and nothing more, but I am not disappointed that I read it. It just wasn’t for me.
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I am a fan of Claire Allan's books and was excited to read her latest book Ask No Questions.  As usual I was not disappointed and I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  It tells the tragic tale of a young girl who was found dead in a town in Northern Ireland and on the 25th anniversary, journalist Ingrid Devlin writes a piece about it., unwittingly stirring up memories and threats to her life for exposing details that had remained hidden.

It is a fast paced plot and Ingrid is a strong-willed woman who believes in her journalism and doing the right thing but others in the community have other ideas and will stop at nothing to keep the secrets hidden.  There are some good twists and I genuinely didn't know who to believe/trust until the very end.

Great reading and thoroughly recommended.
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I absolutely loved this book the story grips you from the start and keeps the pace right through to the end.  

On the 30th anniversary of the murder of young Kelly Doherty, local journalist ingrid is asked to write a memorial piece about the little girl.  Jamesy Harte was convicted of her murder and upon his release from prison launches an appeal against his conviction claiming he was set up ingrid is intrigued by his claims and decides to investigate.  Feelings are still running high in the little Derry town regarding Kelly’s murder and people are not happy at Ingrid’s digging resulting in many threats being made against Ingrid.

I would highly recommend this book as a must read.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review
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The story takes place in Derry twenty five years after the murder of eight year old Kelly Doherty. Reporter Ingrid Devlin decides to write an article for the anniversary of Kelly’s death and while investigating she discovers that the past is filled with secrets that someone wants to keep buried. Will Ingrid discover what really happened twenty five years ago or will history repeat itself?


 Ask No Questions is the first book by Claire Allan that I have read and I really enjoyed it. It is narrated from the dual POV of Ingrid and Declan Heaney. The story follows a dual timeline which uses flashbacks to provide insight into past events. I liked the use of flashbacks because it felt like I was slowly putting together a puzzle piece by piece. I found the characters to be interesting and well written to the point where I didn’t know who I could trust anymore. The twists, turns and secrets throughout this book had me hooked from the very start. The ending was brilliant and I never saw it coming.

I recieved an advanced copy for free, and this is my honest opinion.
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Well where to start, firstly what an amazing author would definitely read anything by her again. Secondly I found this well written and kept be gripped through out
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It’s 2019, Halloween is fast approaching. 25 years earlier a young child Kelly went missing only to be found dead three days later.

Ingrid Devlin wants to write a piece for the Chronicle, the paper she works at, as the guy who was found guilty of Kelly’s murder says he is innocent. His case has been taken on. Ingrid thinks there’s a good story to be had but her editor only wants her to write a piece that won’t be contentious. Kelly agrees but, in her own time pursues a slightly different agenda hoping to get a book deal from it.

Ingrid not only speaks with Kelly’s parents, which the paper is ok with, but she visits the murderer, Jamesy Harte, who has been out of prison for eight years. Interviewing him is not what her Editor, Ryan, wants but thinking of the book she talks to him on her own time. Not wanting to be wrong Ingrid tries to keep an open mind but can’t help but believe Jamesy when he says he didn’t do it.

As she digs things start to happen – scary things. As she continues and the piece for the paper is printed there is an escalation to what is happening. The police become involved. It’s even more awful when Kelly’s father is attacked and badly hurt.

Still Ingrid pursues her own agenda. Meeting separately with each of the two brothers who, all those years ago, had been the ones that found Kelly’s body. They are very different from one another. One successful the other only just surviving. One agrees that Jamesy is the murderer, he was convicted after all, whilst the other expresses some doubt. Each of the brothers warns Ingrid about the other, each wants Ingrid to keep away from the other.

Ingrid has a difficult relationship with her editor, Ryan, his work over the years she has admired but he is behaving strangely over her piece on Kelly and they’re secretly a lot closer than, perhaps, they should be. Ingrid senses Ryan is keeping something back. Ryan is adamant that Ingrid should back off from further investigation into Kelly’s murder.

Ingrid is the main protagonist and most of the story is told from her point of view (POV) but there are also a couple of other characters who speak. The setting of Derry, Northern Ireland is important to the plot and it is always interesting to read books with different settings than I might normally read, to hear the lilt of another place and get a different perspective on people’s lives.

I was gripped yet, in the end, felt deeply saddened at how the attempt to put right the consequences of one terrible, awful act became such a catalyst for so many more dreadful things.

The characters are well written and the storyline will keep you hooked. This is a dark, twisted tale that is well worth reading.

Previous review: The Liar’s Daughter

Thanks: To Ellie Pilcher (Marketing Manager, Avon) for the invite to read and review Ask No Questions by Claire Allan. Also, for an eCopy via NetGalley of the book.
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I’d like to thank Avon Books UK and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read ‘Ask No Questions’ by Claire Allen in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Ingrid Devlin is a journalist for ‘The Chronicle’ and now that twenty-five years has passed since the body of Kelly Doherty was found floating at the side of the reservoir she’s writing an article to celebrate the twelve-year-old’s life.  Ingrid speaks to Jamesy Harte who was convicted of Kelly’s death and has since being released from prison, but someone wants to scare Ingrid into dropping her research and when her car is vandalised and her bedroom wall despoiled with red paint Ingrid wonders if she’s putting herself in danger?  Is there anyone she can trust?    

‘Ask No Questions’ is a well-written, thought-provoking and disturbing psychological thriller that’s had me completely in its grip from start to finish.  The story is intriguing with perfectly-described characters one of whom must know more than they’re saying, with plenty of drama and tension that keeps increasing with each twist and turn.  At times I’m fearful for Ingrid’s safety as she continues asking questions until the final pages where the identity of the killer is revealed which comes as a big surprise and not at all what I was expecting.  This thriller is compulsive reading written by a very talented author, it’s well-deserving of five stars and one I can wholeheartedly recommend.
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A great read from Claire Allan. 
Ingrid wants to do an article for the paper she works on about the murder of eight year old Kelly that happened twenty five years ago. 
Ingrid was a child in the same area at the time and remembers it well. 
Her boss wants her to do an anniversary piece but Ingrid wants to talk to the man who says he was wrongfully in-prisoned for her murder. 
Ingrid’s car and flat get vandalised and she receives threatening notes to stop her investigations and she starts to feel worried. 
Someone else linked to the murder is attacked and Ingrid’s car is vandalised again so it seems someone has something to hide. 
I didn’t work out who the real murderer was and liked the way it was revealed and the resulting consequences. 
Thanks to Avon Books UK and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.
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I usually enjoy books by Claire Allan but this one, not so much. I failed to connect with any of the characters although the chapters were short and the writing just a bit formulaic. I liked the setting of Northern Ireland but the whole plot simply failed to live up to the blurb of a twisty psychological thriller. My thanks to Net Galley for my ARC.
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Ask No Questions 

I’ve read a few of Claire Allen’s books in the past and I think this is probably my favourite so far. A great story with plenty going on to hold my attention. I loved that it was set in Derry- Claire is so good  at really giving her readers a sense of place. 
I’m usually quite good at guessing whodunnit but I didn’t get this one at all. Well plotted, pacy and full of tension. Well done to Claire.  

Thanks to NetGalley & to Avon books for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book.
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Ohhh another crime story in Derry!

Now, I remember Derry from the Stephen King books, and I have always been very fond of them.

Ask No Questions keeps you highly engaged with its story and characters. You will want to continue on reading, and when you finish, you feel empty, since you want more.

Highly recommended!
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Thank you to Avon Publishers for an advanced copy of Ask No Questions by Claire Allan in exchange for an honest review.

Twenty Five years ago the children of the Creggan in Derry were celebrating Halloween when Kerry Doherty goes missing.  Her body is found by her school friends, twins Declan and Niall Heavy in the Creggan Reservoir.    A local man is found guilty. Case closed 

It is it ?

On her anniversary another of her schoolfriends Ingrid Devlin , who was also out on the Creggan that fateful night,  sets out to write a piece for The Chronicle about the murder.  The effect it had on Kelly's family,  the effect it had on the boys who found her and was the convicted man guilty ?

The setting of Derry in the 90s is perfect, where with the peace process everyone is on edge anyway, is brilliantly protrayed.

This book is a page turner and a half.The tension is cranked right up and I just did not want to put it down.  The twisty fast paced plot actually left me on edge.    It is spine-tingly good.
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I have read a few of this authors books and enjoyed them all. This one certainly didn’t disappoint. It had a unique storyline that kept me hooked from start to finish. There were some good twists that I didn’t see coming
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This was a very sad but also absorbing story. The characters jumped off the pages and the storyline was non stop action. The various twists and turns kept the tension high  and the conclusion was a good closure.
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Twenty five years ago on Halloween night, eight year old Kelly Doherty went missing when she went out trick or treating with friends. Her body was found three days later, floating face down, on the banks of the Creggan Reservoir by two of her classmats. 

Now, journalist Ingrid Devlin is investigating - but someone doesn't want her to know the truth.

From early on i had a good idea where this story was going. I also knew who the villain was. Clever old me i thought, but i was wrong. I really had no idea at all when it was revealed and i never saw any of it coming. This is a cleverly crafted story. There's plenty of twists and red herrings in this dark and chilling read. This is one of my favourite books by the author. I loved it.

I would like to thank #NetGalley. #AvonBooksUK and the author #ClaireAllan for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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