Claire MacLeary

Cross Purpose

Longlisted for the 2017 McIlvanney Award for Scottish Crime Book of the Year

Two Women, One Quest, Grave Consequences.

When Maggie Laird's disgraced ex-cop husband suddenly dies, her humdrum suburban life is turned upside down. With the bills mounting, she takes on his struggling detective agency, enlisting the help of neighbour 'Big Wilma'. And so an unlikely partnership is born.

But the discovery of a crudely mutilated body soon raises the stakes… and Maggie and Wilma are drawn into an unknown world of Aberdeen's sink estates, clandestine childminding and dodgy dealers.

Cross Purpose is surprising, gritty, sometimes darkly humorous — a tale combining police corruption, gangs and murder with a paean to friendship, loyalty and how 'women of a certain age' can beat the odds.

«The dialogue is fantastic. The development of the characters [is] well done… It takes great skill to create a character that makes the skin crawl.» The Quiet Knitter

«An entertaining and engrossing thriller featuring Aberdeen's own Thelma and Louise… An intricate plotline with well-created characters woven into a dark and yet uplifting story, written with a touch of humour.» Bits About Books

«A fast-moving, humorous, yet dark read… a stonking debut. Claire MacLeary is a fresh new voice in Scottish crime fiction and this quine is one for the watching!» Chapter In My Life

«Great characters [and] a warm tale of a developing friendship… Very enjoyable.» Col's Criminal Library

“Clever, involving and beautifully done. Highly Recommended.” Liz Loves Books

«A fantastic debut novel… A real page-turner, I was totally hooked from the beginning.» It's All About the Books blog

«Refreshingly different… a fast-paced tale.» Shirley Whiteside, Herald

«All the different stories merge together in an unflinching, often funny and yet ultimately tender portrayal of life on the margins of society… It might just launch a new kind of crime subgenre, for which some of us have been waiting for some time now: 'cosy with bite'… A lively debut, with a fresh, different vibe.» Crime Fiction Lover

«Edgy and thought-provoking… With lashings of authentic Aberdeen and a fast paced plot keeping the pages turning, Cross Purpose was a blast to read and is highly recommended.» Grab This Book

"[A] fantastic new crime novel…a gritty book with a surprisingly warm theme of female friendship." The List

«MacLeary's prose is assured and engaging, bursting with the liveliness of the Aberdonian vernacular… an impressive debut.» Raven Crime Reads

«Crime fiction has a new stellar voice in Claire MacLeary. Cross Purpose is feisty, funny and darkly delicious.» Michael J Malone

“A dark devious delight, definitely one to watch.” Neil Broadfoot

“A terrific crime debut with an unlikely crime-fighting partnership that sets it apart from the rest. Takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster. Unsettling at times, even uncomfortable, but compelling to the end.” Theresa Talbot

“A thoroughly enjoyable book, and a highly commendable (and recommendable) first-time novel.” Undiscovered Scotland

“A brilliant new talent for the lover of crime.” Sue Black, DBE, forensic anthropologist
331 printed pages
Original publication
Saraband, Contraband



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