‘Not all secrets are meant to come out…’
– Ask No Questions
[ About the Book ]
Twenty-five years ago, on Halloween night, eight-year-old Kelly Doherty went missing while 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 young classmates.
It was a crime that rocked Derry to the core. Journalist Ingrid Devlin is investigating – but someone doesn’t want her to know the truth. As she digs further, Ingrid starts to realise that the Doherty family are not as they seem. But will she expose what really happened that night before it’s too late?
[ My Review ]
Ask No Questions from bestselling author Claire Allan will be published with Avon Books January 21st and is described as ‘a twisty psychological thriller’ . Set in Derry, it opens with a frightening prologue from 1994, twenty-five years ago when Ingrid Devlin came to terms with the fact that monsters were real
“I was ten years old when I found out that monsters are real and they walk among us. I can pinpoint the exact day that everything changed, when the world I’d found to be fun and innocent and good turned into something dark and frightening….The bogeyman we had always been told was just make-believe stalked our streets”
Read an exclusive extract of the prologue HERE
October 31st, Halloween night, 1994 young Kelly Doherty never came home. Her body was discovered by two young boys near the Creggan reservoir three days later. For the Doherty family their worst fear had now become a living nightmare and for the people of Creggan, their neighbourhood was no longer safe for their children. An innocent life had been cut short and a community mourned, unable to comprehend the savagery of the attack. The police pulled out all the stops and an arrest was made. Jamsie Harte, a local man, was tried, convicted and locked away. Children were let back out to play again, but there was always an underlying terror. Could it have just as easily been their child? Was Kelly Doherty in the wrong place at the wrong time? Had the culprit planned the attack? The newspapers reported on the case and after a while, most of the locals moved on. But the Doherty family were forever broken, as were the lives of twin brothers Declan and Niall Heaney.
Niall and Declan Heaney were the two young boys who made the discovery of Kelly Doherty’s body in 1994. Both reacted very differently to the discovery, with Declan’s life being irrevocably changed from that night. Up to that point, the boys had had a close sibling relationship, but the impact of what they witnessed was to have a huge affect on the trajectory of their lives. Niall had a career as a successful educator always seeking to be the best whereas Declan’s life went completely off the rails into a life of petty crime and drugs. Their sibling dynamic was one of the many fallouts of that horrifying evening.
Now Ingrid Devlin is a successful writer and journalist and is writing a piece for the anniversary of Kelly Doherty’s death. Ingrid has her own cloudy memories of that frightening time in her life. She had known Kelly Doherty, remembering the funeral and how all their lives were changed forever in many ways. Ingrid is sensitive to the nature of the piece she is putting together but she is also an investigative reporter. When an opportunity arises for her to meet the now released Jamesy Harte Ingrid jumps at the chance. Jamsie has always proclaimed his innocence, always stating that he was set up, with a human rights group now studying his case. Ingrid meets Jamsie to listen to his side of the story. She also meets the Heaney boys, now grown men, and the Doherty family, who are still angered and grieving deeply for their beautiful little girl. Ingrid, with her journalistic instinct, smells a story but her boss is requesting that she rein it in a bit, for her own good. His predictions prove correct as Ingrid becomes a target of a hate campaign. But why? She is only reporting on the facts? Who is hiding information and what really happened that night on October 31st 1994?
Ask No Questions is a story about justice and truth with wonderful characters that are all very authentically depicted. Claire Allan wrote part of this book, and fully edited it, during Covid lockdown and I congratulate her determination and pure grit in completing it in such an amazing manner. Ask No Questions is Claire Allan at her best. This is a story that is heart-breaking as the truth is slowly revealed. So many lives destroyed, broken and living in fear. There is something all too real about this tale. It has a very true feel which brings the pain and the anguish of all the characters very much to the fore. Ingrid Devlin is a fearless and tenacious protagonist, full of passion and integrity, and I do hope we see more of her in the future.
Ask No Questions is a very suspenseful read keeping the reader intrigued at all times. Packed with multiple twists and turns, it is a very clever novel with some very heinous individuals hiding between its covers as it builds up momentum to that final shocking conclusion. An excellent read!
[ Bio ]
Claire Allan is an International Bestselling Author from Derry in Northern Ireland.
Her debut psychological thriller, Her Name Was Rose, was published in June 2018. It hit the bestseller charts in the UK, Australia, Canada and is a USA Today bestseller.
Her next novel, Apple of My Eye, was published in January 2019 and hit the bestseller charts internationally. She has followed this up with two more novels: Forget Me Not and The Liar’s Daughter, which became a USA Today bestseller.
Twitter – @ClaireAllan