Thursday, November 9, 2023

BLOG TOUR - The Altar Girls


The little girl looked like an angel in her thin white robe, her long black hair spread around her head like a dark halo on the snow. Her hands rested on her chest, fingers interlaced as if she had fallen asleep while praying. But she would never wake up again…

Detective Lottie Parker receives news that a child’s body has been found in the frozen grounds of the cathedral, a shiver runs down her spine. She’s terrified it will be eight-year-old Willow Devine, reported missing that morning.

But when she arrives at the cathedral, holding a photo of Willow with her blonde ponytail and gap-toothed smile, she gets a terrible shock. The body is a young girl, wrapped in a white shroud, a rosary clutched in her frozen fingers. But her hair is dark, not fair. This girl isn’t Willow but another eight-year-old, Naomi.

Desperate to find a connection between the two girls and to find Willow before it is too late, Lottie speaks to the girls’ families and discovers that both girls were altar servers at the cathedral. The charismatic priest Father Maguire has a watertight alibi for the time the girls went missing, but Lottie suspects the confused old lady traumatised by the discovery of Naomi’s body is hiding something…

A day later, Willow’s little body is found wrapped in a white robe in the snowy grounds of a church across town. Lottie is devastated, convinced now that she can’t trust anyone, least of all the girls’ parents. Why did Willow’s mother claim the girls didn’t know each other? And why are there no photos of Naomi in her mother’s shabby house?

But when a little boy from the choir goes missing too, Lottie realises she must spread her net wider. Can she stop this twisted killer before another precious life is stolen?

A completely compelling page-turner from bestselling author Patricia Gibney. If you like Rachel Caine, Kendra Elliott and Robert Dugoni, The Altar Girls will have you hooked.


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Title:   The Altar Girls
Author:  Patricia Gibney 
Series:  DI Lottie Parker Book 13
Publisher:  Bookouture 
Genre:   Mystery & Thrillers 
Format:  Audiobook 
No. of Pages:   504
Date of Publication:   November 9, 2023
My Rating:   5 Stars

Not just one missing girl, but two. Tragically, both are found dead within a span of two days. What monster took the lives of these precious little girls? That is what Detective Lottie Parker is desperate to uncover. Lottie is beside herself right from the start in her latest investigation. When she visits the home of one of the girls that was missing, eight-year-old Naomi, things just did not seem right in that home. In fact, Naomi apparently headed to choir practice alone in inclement weather, and was gone for several hours without her mother reporting her missing. This definitely raises red flags with Lottie.  

There is a lot going on in this very intense book. Quite naturally, it is heartbreaking that the murder of two little girls is what makes the story, but then there are many questions asked about the safety of children who were in the company of those who should have their very best interests at heart. Definitely something to make any mother think. 

One intriguing aspect of this book is that most of the people in the path of these delicate children are rather unlikeable in on way or another. Meanwhile, there is other drama in this book involving Lottie’s home life and relationship and also that of the goings on with members of her team. 

When I was preparing the review, I realized that the book was 507 pages. That is rather surprising to me, because this was a book that I could not put down and could not tap my Kindle quick enough as I was so thoroughly engrossed in this story. Patricia Gibney is quite talented at her craft and she makes it easy to connect with Lottie and her team. Also, it was heartbreaking to see Lottie’s partner Boyd (in work and personally) in his desperate attempt to locate his son Sergio, taken by his ex-wife. 

This well-rounded story was an stellar read, made truly exceptional due to the excellent writing style as well as a compelling story. 

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


Patricia is the million-copy bestselling author of the DI Lottie Parker series. She yearned to be a writer after reading Enid Blyton and Carolyn Keene and even wanted to be Nancy Drew when she grew up. She has now grown up (she thinks) but the closest she’s come to Nancy Drew is writing crime!

In 2009, after her husband died, she retired from her job and started writing seriously. Fascinated by people and their quirky characteristics, she always carries a notebook to scribble down observations.

Patricia also loves to paint in watercolour and lives in the Irish midlands with her children.

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