#BlogTour #BookReview - The Daughter (The DI Phil Morris Mysteries Book 3) by Billy McLaughlin

Sometimes a killer comes along who will make your blood run cold...

When the body of a young woman is found with her hands and teeth missing, Detective Inspector Phil Morris struggles to identify her.

The evidence initially suggests she is local missing girl, Alex Waters, whose mother, Tricia, comes armed with a psychic gift she would rather not possess. 

As Phil and his partner, Detective Donna Barclay, try to untangle the web of mystery surrounding the body, it appears that Alex had more secrets than even her psychic mother knew. 

As the hour glass empties, Phil and Donna are pushed to their limits trying to unravel the disturbed mind behind the sick game playing out around them. 

Welcome to a new chapter in domestic noir.

I'm delighted to be hosting the blog tour for The Daughter today, along with the fabulous Jen Med's Book Reviews. Many thanks to the author and Emma Mitchell for inviting me and for my eARC received in return for this unbiased review.
This is the third book in Billy McLaughlin's DI Phil Morris series but the first I have read and it can definitely be enjoyed as a standalone thriller - although as always with a series there are some elements that will be clearer to those who have read the books chronologically. The book opens with a prologue featuring a girl's last moments following an explosion. As the story begins however, she is not the victim whose death is to be investigated. Instead a man has discovered the body of a young woman in the trees at the allotments where he lives in a shed. Her teeth have been removed and the old man is further horrified to discover both her hands have been cut off. DI Phil Morris is called in to investigate but it looks like this case could become personal for his partner, Donna Barclay. Her cousin, Tricia Waters contacts her after many years to report her daughter, Alex is missing. The dead girl was found with Alex's bag and was wearing her pendant, will Donna have to give Tricia the devastating news that her daughter has been murdered?
Tricia is psychic and after a brief moment of fame now shuns the spotlight. She holds meetings at her church where she gives messages from the dead to their loved ones. She hasn't received any such message from Alex but has been having distressingly real hallucinations of a fire. Meanwhile another local mother, Monica is clearly troubled. Is her daughter, Sarah a calming or controlling influence on her, and could they be in danger too?
This is a frustrating case for Phil and Donna, they can't confirm the identity of the victim, have no suspects or motives, and fear that this may be only the start and somebody else is also in terrible danger. They might just be facing a race against time to prevent another murder.  As the story progressed I found myself questioning if anybody was telling the truth, The Daughter is packed with shocking secrets and thrilling twists. Family relationships are ripped apart by lies and tragedy, and as the book races towards an explosive conclusion it may be that more people are going to die before there can be any sort of justice, let alone redemption and forgiveness.
 Phil and Donna are refreshingly believable police officers, there is nothing flashy about them, their investigation reflects the often mundane, tiring and frustrating work of real police officers. It was particularly good to read a book where there is no hint of romance between the investigators, instead Phil's relationship with his girlfriend, Kate, and Donna's family history provide some colour to their characters without detracting from the plot. As a sceptic I did have to put aside my prejudices about psychics a bit but found Tricia to be a fascinating character, her gift often seeming to be more of a curse than a blessing. The other characters are equally well written, especially the murderer who is a truly frightening and evil individual.
 I wasn't immediately gripped by The Daughter, it's a slow burner to begin with.  However, I still enjoyed the gradual introduction of the various characters and the complex plotting. As the pace increased though, it became a compelling page turner and I raced towards the end of this chilling psychological thriller. Billy McLaughlin is a new name to me but one I will be looking out for in the future.
Don't miss the rest of the tour, dates are below.

The Daughter is available on Amazon as a paperback or for the Kindle. Billy McLaughlin is on Twitter as @bilbob20

About the Author

Billy McLaughlin is a Glasgow born author who released his first novelette 'Invisible' in March 2016. Receiving glowing customer reviews, he followed up with the gritty novel 'Lost Girl' which introduces readers to the mainstay characters Phil & Kate. In September 2016, his third book 'In the Wake of Death' was released, re-uniting audiences with Phil & Kate as well as throwing a brand new mystery that has been praised for its unique twist.

McLaughlin welcomed 2017 in celebrating that 'Lost Girl' peaked at number 2 in the crime thriller charts the previous August and gained the coveted number 1 slot in the Scottish crime charts with 'In the Wake of Death'. His fourth book 'The Dead of Winter' arrived in March 2017 to glowing reviews. One reviewer likened the novel to a series of Broadchurch. Kate and Phil returned for a brand new mystery in 'The Daughter' which also sees the return of Donna Barclay. 

Work has now begun on the sixth book which will be a new stand-alone project. More information coming soon.