Published: 20 January 2022
Author: C S Robertson
Published by: Hodder & Stoughton
Genre: Crime thriller
Length: 308 pages
Reading dates: 16-23 January 2022
DEATH IS NOT THE END. FOR GRACE McGILL IT IS ONLY THE BEGINNING.
When people die alone and undiscovered, it’s her job to clean up what’s left behind – whether it’s clutter, bodily remains or dark secrets.
When an old man lies undetected in his flat for months, it seems an unremarkable life and an unnoticed death. But Grace knows that everyone has a story and that all deaths mean something more.
I’m thrilled to be kicking off the blog tour today for The Undiscovered Deaths of Grace McGill by C S Robertson.
Based in Glasgow, Grace McGill is a death cleaner, someone who has the unenviable task of cleaning up after the dead – those poor unfortunate souls who have lain undiscovered for many weeks or even months. After the body has been removed, Grace goes into their home and cleans up the mess a decomposing body leaves behind. It is unpleasant and dangerous work but Grace does her job with care and respect. As the book begins, she is cleaning the flat of Thomas Agnew, an elderly man who has lain undiscovered for around 6 months.
As a result of what she finds during one of the cleans, Grace becomes interested in the unsolved disappearance of a young woman who vanished in the 1960s on the Isle of Bute and travels to Rothesay on the Isle of Bute to see what she can find out.
Grace is such an interesting character. She is a lonely and sad woman – she lives alone with her beloved cat George and spends her spare time making detailed dioramas of the rooms she cleans – she sees it as both therapy and a tribute to the dead person. The only significant person in her life is her abusive and alcoholic father whom Grace shops, cooks and cleans for.
This book is not for the faint hearted – the descriptions of the conditions left behind after someone dies is graphic and gruesome but made me feel huge respect for Grace and the work she does. I liked Grace but felt sorry for her. I liked her determination to solve the mystery of the missing woman from the 1960s. Unexpected in every sense, The Undiscovered Deaths of Grace McGill surprised me on more than one occasion. A brilliant crime thriller, Grace is an unforgettable character who will certainly stay with me.
Thank you to Steven Cooper for inviting me on the blog tour and for my copy of the book. Please check out the other blogger reviews below:
About the author
A former journalist, Craig Robertson had a 20-year career with a Scottish Sunday newspaper before becoming a full-time author. He interviewed three Prime Ministers, reported on major stories including 9/11, Dunblane, the Omagh bombing and the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. He was pilloried on breakfast television, beat Oprah Winfrey to a major scoop, spent time on Death Row in the USA and dispensed polio drops in the backstreets of India.
His gritty crime novels are set on the mean streets of contemporary Glasgow. His first novel, Random, was shortlisted for the 2010 CWA New Blood Dagger, longlisted for the 2011 Crime Novel of the Year and was a Sunday Times bestseller. Murderabilia was longlisted for the 2017 Crime Novel of the Year and shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize. The Photographer was longlisted for the McIlvanney Prize.
He now shares his time between Scotland and California and can usually be found on a plane somewhere over the Atlantic.