Wow! To say I loved The Undiscovered Deaths of Grace McGill is an understatement. I was completely gripped by this quirky, twisted thriller. Full of pathos, dark humour with an unguessable plot, C.S. Robertson’s new novel is definitely a must read for 2022. Believe me, this is a book everyone is going to be raving about this year!
It is the story of the unique, unforgettable Grace McGill. Narrated in the first person, Grace is a 30 something cleaner. But she is not just any old cleaner, oh no. Grace cleans up the remains of death. When people die alone and undiscovered for weeks or even months, it is her job to clean everything that is left behind. That may be cleaning up the clutter. It always means cleaning up the bodily remains.
It’s my job. I’m a lonely death cleaner.
To give it its Sunday name, I carry out bioremediation. I do the deep clean that’s needed after a body has lain decomposing for so long. It’s smelly, it’s sad, it’s messy, and it’s dangerous
Grace is so skilful at her job, she even cleans up the darkest of secrets; especially within her own family.
As a character Grace is brilliant; she is multi-layered and so complex. By her own admission she is unsociable, yet she hates the fact that society forgets about some people, leaving them to die alone with their bodies rotting away. Grace is very much a loner, but in her own unique way, she is full of compassion and empathy. As Grace revealed more about herself and her actions became more determined, I found myself really striving for her. I absolutely adore Grace; she is a truly stand out character in modern fiction.
When the novel opens Grace is on the way to clean up the death of Thomas Agnew, an old man that lay dead in his flat undiscovered for five months or more. Grace doesn’t know of any people that took the time to remember Thomas but as she studies the photographs in his bedroom where he died, ‘Snapshots of a long life that ended in solitude,’ she is determined to honour his memory in death.
One of Thomas’s snapshots Grace discovers secretly hidden away is a photograph of Tom in his younger days with friends at Rothesay on the Isle of Bute. This photograph sparks Grace’s imagination, taking her on her own investigation. However Grace unearths much more than she bargained for, putting herself and all she holds dear in danger.
I don’t want to give away too much as there are fantastic twists in this novel that literally took my breath away! I just didn’t see them coming, but they brilliantly enhance the tension throughout the story. All the way through I couldn’t work out where this novel was going to go and I loved that! I really don’t want to spoil any of the twists for you.
In addition to being an enthralling and very entertaining murder mystery, The Undiscovered Deaths of Grace McGill is a dark love story to Glasgow and Rothesay. The descriptions of the settings are so detailed that anyone that knows Glasgow and spent childhood holidays in Rothesay (like many people from the West of Scotland) is sure to love this compelling story.
Thank you to Steven Cooper for inviting me to take part in the blog tour of this dark, funny and very original thriller. I absolutely loved it!
The Undiscovered Deaths of Grace McGill was released in the UK on 20 January 2022, so it available now for you all to read. If you love quirky, twisted thrillers, I suggest you grab your copy now!
To read the reviews from my fellow bloggers also on the blog tour please see below.
Happy reading everyone! 🙂