Where They Lie: A Novel (Paperback)

Where They Lie: A Novel By Claire Coughlan Cover Image
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“A thrillingly dark and atmospheric tale, richly evocative of its time, especially for those of us old enough to remember 1968.”—John Banville

An immersive, literary thriller set in 1960s Dublin about an ambitious young female journalist whose investigation of a long missing actress will take her through misty streets and the tangled underworld—and force her to confront the long buried secrets of her own past.

Some stories demand to be told. They keep coming back, echoing down through the decades, until they find a teller . . .

Dublin, 1943. Actress Julia Bridges disappears. She was last seen entering the house of Gloria Fitzpatrick, who is later put on trial for the murder of a woman whose abortion she facilitated. But it’s never proved that Gloria had a hand in Julia’s death—and Julia’s body has never been found. Gloria, however, is sentenced to life in an institution for the criminally insane, where she’s found dead a few years later from an apparent suicide, and the truth of what happened to Julia Bridges dies with her.

Until . . .

Dublin, 1968. Nicoletta Sarto is an ambitious junior reporter for the Irish Sentinel when the bones of Julia Bridges are discovered in the garden of a house on the outskirts of the city. Drawn into investigating the 25-year-old mystery of Julia’s disappearance and her link to the notorious Gloria Fitzpatrick, Nicoletta becomes immersed in the tangled underworld of the illegal abortion industry, stirring up long-buried secrets from her own past.

A beautifully atmospheric, timely thriller, Where They Lie uses a murder mystery as a lens to focus on the long struggle of women fighting to achieve autonomy and succeed in a man’s world.

About the Author

Claire Coughlan has worked as a journalist for many years, most recently for publications such as BookBrunch and the Sunday Independent. She was a recipient of the Words Ireland National Mentoring program, funded by Kildare Arts Service and the Arts Council. Coughlan has an MFA in creative writing from University College Dublin, and she lives in County Kildare with her husband and daughter.

Praise For…

“A thrillingly dark and atmospheric tale, richly evocative of its time, especially for those of us old enough to remember 1968.” — John Banville

"Gripping and brilliantly atmospheric, and Nicoletta Sarto, the novel's protagonist - the way she talks, the way she thinks - is a great invention." — Roddy Doyle

“Effectively conveys the challenges working women faced in the 1960s. Readers interested in exploring the historical quest for women’s rights and independence will enjoy.” — Library Journal

“One of the more memorable leads in recent crime fiction.” — Wall Street Journal

"Beautifully written, utterly absorbing. It’s hard to believe Coughlan wasn’t right there in 1960s Dublin observing the world she describes in such word-perfect detail. A stunning debut." — Andrea Mara

“Debut author Coughlan effortlessly plants clues that pay off in gasp-worthy twists. . . . Recommended for readers of dark, historical crime fiction.”

"It’s a superb novel, evoking a bygone era when women could not afford to put a foot wrong." — Sunday Times (London)

"Journalist Claire Coughlan tackles one of the many distressing aspects of Ireland’s past in this novel . . . This involving story shows the importance of the rights women have won in the past half-century and the need to ensure they are not compromised now." — Literary Review

"A deeply absorbing mystery." — Crime Monthly

“Ambitious and fine-woven . . . . Coughlan nimbly captures a place and time before reproductive rights were routinely discussed, let alone words attached to a movement.” — Shelf Awareness

Product Details
ISBN: 9780063344600
ISBN-10: 0063344602
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: February 20th, 2024
Pages: 304
Language: English