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Claire McGowan books in order

Claire McGowan is a British bestselling author and screenwriter.

She writes mystery, thriller, non-fiction and literary fiction under her real name, and women's fiction under the pen name Eva Woods.

Born in Northern Ireland, Claire has had a strong desire to become a writer ever since she read Dick and Jane as a child.

She holds a degree in English and French from Oxford University, and pioneered the UK's inaugural MA program in crime writing, which she diligently led for five years.

Besides writing several bestsellers, many of which are in development for TV and film, Claire has also done screenwriting and works of journalism.

She has written for Glamour, Grazia, Marie Claire, the Daily Mail, Stylist, and many more, and speaks and talks frequently about writing.

Claire currently resides in London.

More about Claire McGowan

Genres: Literary Fiction, Mystery, Non-fiction, Thriller

Born: 1981

United Kingdom

Pseudonym: Also writes as Eva Woods


Non Series

  • The Fall (2012)
  • What You Did (2019)
  • The Other Wife (2019)
  • The Push (2020)
  • I Know You (2021)
  • Are You Awake? (2022)
  • Let Me In (2023)
  • This Could Be Us (2023)


  1. The Vanishing Triangle: The Murdered Women Ireland Forgot (2022)


  1. Pride and Prejudice on Social Media (2021)
  2. Jane Eyre on Social Media (2023)

Paula Maguire

  1. Controlled Explosions: A Prequel Novella (2015)
  2. The Lost (2013)
  3. The Dead Ground (2014)
  4. The Silent Dead (2015)
  5. A Savage Hunger (2016)
  6. Blood Tide (2017)
  7. The Killing House (2018)

Detailed book overview

Non Series

The Fall

What would you do if the man you love was accused of murder?

Bad things never happen to Charlotte. She's living the life she's always wanted and about to marry wealthy banker, Dan. But Dan's been hiding a secret, and the pressure is pushing him over the edge. After he's arrested for the vicious killing of a nightclub owner, Charlotte's future is shattered.

Then she opens her door to Keisha, an angry and frustrated stranger with a story to tell. Convinced of Dan's innocence, Charlotte must fight for him - even if it means destroying her perfect life. But what Keisha knows threatens everyone she loves, and puts her own life in danger.

DC Matthew Hegarty is riding high on the success of Dan's arrest. But he's finding it difficult to ignore his growing doubts as well as the beautiful and vulnerable Charlotte. Can he really risk it all for what's right?

Three stories. One truth. They all need to brace themselves for the fall.

Author: Claire McGowan
First Release: 2012
ISBN: 978-0755386345
What You Did

It was supposed to be the perfect reunion: six university friends together again after twenty years. Host Ali finally has the life she always wanted, a career she can be proud of and a wonderful family with her college boyfriend, now husband. But that night her best friend makes an accusation so shocking that nothing will ever be the same again.

When Karen staggers in from the garden, bleeding and traumatised, she claims that she has been assaulted―by Ali’s husband, Mike. Ali must make a split-second decision: who should she believe? Her horrified husband, or her best friend? With Mike offering a very different version of events, Ali knows one of them is lying―but which? And why?

When the ensuing chaos forces her to re-examine the golden era the group shared at university, Ali realises there are darker memories too. Memories that have lain dormant for decades. Memories someone would kill to protect.

Author: Claire McGowan
First Release: 2019
ISBN: 978-1542091336
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
The Other Wife

She’s a total stranger. But she knows who you are…

Suzi did a bad thing. She’s paying for it now, pregnant, scared, and living in an isolated cottage with her jealous husband, Nick.

When Nora moves into the only house nearby, Suzi is delighted to have a friend. So much so that she’s almost tempted to tell Nora her terrible secret. But there’s more to Nora than meets the eye. It’s impossible―does she already know what Suzi did?

Meanwhile, Elle spends her days in her perfect home, fixated on keeping up appearances. But when her husband betrays her, it unravels a secret going all the way back to her childhood. She’ll do whatever it takes to hold on to him, even if that means murder. After all, she’s done it before…

Caught up in their own secrets and lies, these strangers will soon realise they have more in common than they could ever have imagined. When a shocking event brings them together, their lives will never be the same again.

Author: Claire McGowan
First Release: 2019
ISBN: 978-1542093156
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
The Push

One party. Thirteen people. By 3.02 p.m., one of them will be dead.

The party should have been perfect: six couples from the same baby group, six newborns, a luxurious house. But not everything has gone to plan, and while some are here to celebrate, others have sorrows to drown. When someone falls from the balcony of the house, the secrets and conflicts within the group begin to spill out …

DS Alison Hegarty, herself struggling with infertility, is called in to investigate. She’s convinced the fall was not an accident, and finds the new parents have a lot to hide. Wealthy Ed and Monica show off their newborn while their teenage daughter is kept under virtual house arrest. Hazel and Cathy conceived their longed-for baby via an anonymous sperm donor―or so Hazel thinks. 

Anita and Jeremy planned to adopt from America, but there’s no sign of the child. Kelly, whose violent boyfriend disrupted previous group sessions, came to the party even though she lost her baby. And then there’s Jax, who’s been experiencing strange incidents for months―almost like someone’s out to get her. Is it just a difficult pregnancy? Or could it be payback for something she did in the past?

It’s a nightmare of a case, and as events get even darker it begins to look impossible. Only one thing is clear: they all have something to hide. And for one of them, it’s murder.

Author: Claire McGowan
First Release: 2020
ISBN: 978-1542019996
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
I Know You

A woman finds a dead body. Will she make the same mistake as last time?

Rachel lives a quiet life in the peaceful countryside, content with her perfect man and her lovely dog. But when she stumbles upon a body in the woods one day, all that shatters. She knows what she has to do: run. Don’t get accused of murder. But when this victim is identified as her boyfriend’s estranged wife, Rachel realises she’s already the prime suspect.

With mounting evidence against her, Rachel’s only hope is to keep her past well hidden. Because before she was Rachel, she was Casey, a young nanny trying to make it as an actress in Los Angeles―and when the family she worked for were brutally murdered, she narrowly escaped the death penalty. Now, she’ll do anything to save the life she’s spent years piecing back together.

But the police are closing in, and Rachel can’t help wondering: Was her discovery in the woods really just an awful coincidence, or is someone framing her for murder? Someone who knows who she is, and wants revenge…

Author: Claire McGowan
First Release: 2021
ISBN: 978-1542019972
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Are You Awake?

A missing girl. Two potential witnesses.

They both think they saw her. But can they trust their own eyes?

With two young children, Mary hasn’t slept in what feels like years. For his part, Tim never feels safe enough to sleep. And so one hot, exhausting night, the two strangers meet while seeking solace in a nearby park. There, they witness something horrific: a violent attack in the window of a neighbouring house.

Bonded by what they’ve seen, Tim and Mary are desperate to find answers. And when they see news reports of a missing woman who was last seen walking alone not far from them, the pair are convinced it’s her they saw being attacked―no matter what the police say.

But with her marriage under strain and the police on their tail, Mary begins to doubt her own mind…and Tim’s. And as the pair are drawn into a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse, the culprit appears to be even closer to home than they thought. Have they got it all wrong, or is something even more sinister going on?

Author: Claire McGowan
First Release: 2022
ISBN: 978-1542035378
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Let Me In

A young couple are about to discover that in a house full of secrets, there’s nowhere to hide…

For Helen and George, the remote fixer-upper in Cornwall was supposed to be a dream home, and a way to leave behind the problems they’re both running from. But something about the place feels wrong from day one. And why does Helen have a creeping feeling she’s seen this house before?

Her unease only deepens after renovations begin, when the builders find sinister dolls hidden in the walls. As Helen digs into the house’s past, she discovers that the previous owner was not only rumoured to be a witch; she was also imprisoned for a brutal triple murder thirty years earlier.

When a horrific accident almost ends in tragedy, Helen worries that the house’s secrets are to blame, and as events spiral out of control she discovers George has been lying to her. As the past returns to haunt them, the couple realise they are in terrible danger, and they can’t trust anyone―not even each other. Because Helen hasn’t been entirely honest with him either…

Author: Claire McGowan
First Release: 2023
ISBN: 978-1542035392
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
This Could Be Us

Kate has done the unthinkable. She'd worked hard to build a perfect life for herself, while ignoring her growing unhappiness. But when her second child was born profoundly disabled, reality hit. Unable to cope, Kate left - disappearing without a trace. She ends up in LA, with a glittering career and a new family of sorts, but the guilt is still suffocating.

Husband Andrew was left to pick up the pieces and care for their disabled daughter and angry, confused son. Bereft and broken, he leaned on Olivia, Kate's best friend. She's been by his side ever since, ignoring her own needs to meet his.

Years later, Andrew has written a memoir about his daughter learning to communicate against all odds. But when Kate's new producer husband decides he wants to make a film of it, their worlds collide once again. Now, Kate must return to the life she abandoned and reckon with what she did. The guilt and the love. The pain and the hope. In other words, family.

Author: Claire McGowan
First Release: 2023
Ebook: B0C24M1BB2
Publisher: Hachette Audio UK


The Vanishing Triangle: The Murdered Women Ireland Forgot

From the bestselling author of What You Did comes a true-crime investigation that cast a dark shadow over the Ireland of her childhood.

Ireland in the 1990s seemed a safe place for women. With the news dominated by the Troubles, it was easy to ignore non-political murders and sexual violence, to trust that you weren’t going to be dragged into the shadows and killed. But beneath the surface, a far darker reality had taken hold.

Through questioning the society and circumstances that allowed eight young women to vanish without a trace―no conclusion or conviction, no resolution for their loved ones―bestselling crime novelist Claire McGowan delivers a candid investigation into the culture of secrecy, victim-blaming and shame that left these women’s bodies unfound, their fates unknown, their assailants unpunished.

McGowan reveals an Ireland not of leprechauns and craic but of outdated social and sexual mores, where women and their bodies were of secondary importance to perceived propriety and misguided politics―a place of well-buttoned lips and stony silence, inadequate police and paramilitary threat.

Was an unknown serial killer at large or was there something even more insidious at work? In this insightful, sensitively drawn account, McGowan exposes a system that failed these eight women―and continues to fail women to this day.

Author: Claire McGowan
First Release: 2022
ISBN: 978-1542035293
Publisher: Little A


Pride and Prejudice on Social Media

Elizabeth Bennet has politely declined your friend request and asks that you do not slide into her DMs again.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune will probably be verified on social media. The characters of Pride and Prejudice are navigating the same struggles on unfamiliar channels—social media channels, to be precise.

When authors Claire McGowan and Sarah Day imagined how Pride and Prejudice on social media might look, retelling the story through mocked-up social media posts, their post instantly went viral. Have you ever wondered what Austen's most famous couple might be like if it played out online? Well, here is the story in full....

Author: Claire McGowan
First Release: 2021
ISBN: 978-1529370164
Publisher: Hodder Studio
Jane Eyre on Social Media

Sarah Day and Claire McGowan retell Jane Eyre for the modern-day social media world: Reader, she married him. But not before a LOT of discussion of his behaviour in the group chat.

With courage, determination and logged into her social media accounts - plain Jane Eyre is ready to take on the world. But then she meets and begins to fall for Edward Rochester, AKA the definition of a red flag, with screenshots to prove it.

When authors Claire McGowan and Sarah Day imagined how 'Pride and Prejudice on Social Media' might look, retelling the story through mocked-up social media posts, their post instantly went viral. Now, they return with a Bronte classic told through highs and lows of social media...

Author: Claire McGowan
First Release: 2023
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Paula Maguire

Controlled Explosions: A Prequel Novella

Paula Maguire, forensic psychologist on the Irish border, returns as a teenager in this exclusive digital short story from Claire McGowan. If you love the Paula Maguire series, or are yet to meet the infamous psychologist, you'll be gripped...

1998 and future forensic psychologist Paula Maguire is still in school, being taunted by bullies. In particular one girl, whose family has paramilitary links, is calling her a rat. Even though Paula might not know why her mother went missing five years before, she's sure she's no traitor's daughter.

But words are nothing compared to what her policeman father, PJ, is dealing with. The hot summer is simmering with violence and the entire force is focused on finding a bomber leaving devices on the routes of Orange parades.

When PJ is injured at the scene of a crime, Paula is shocked to find herself next in the perpetrator's crosshairs. The threats at school don't feel so empty now, but what connection could there be?

As the possibility of first love appears, will Paula be able to find out in time to save herself and follow her heart?

Author: Claire McGowan
First Release: 2015
Publisher: Headline
The Lost

Not everyone who's missing is lost

When two teenage girls go missing along the Irish border, forensic psychologist Paula Maguire has to return to the hometown she left years before. Swirling with rumour and secrets, the town is gripped by fear of a serial killer. But the truth could be even darker.

Not everyone who's lost wants to be found

Surrounded by people and places she tried to forget, Paula digs into the cases as the truth twists further away. What's the link with two other disappearances from 1985? And why does everything lead back to the town's dark past- including the reasons her own mother went missing years before?

Nothing is what it seems

As the shocking truth is revealed, Paula learns that sometimes, it's better not to find what you've lost...

Author: Claire McGowan
First Release: 2013
ISBN: 978-0755386406
Publisher: Headline
The Dead Ground

Stolen. Missing. Dead...

Forensic psychologist Paula Maguire, already wrestling with the hardest decision of her life, is forced to put her own problems on hold when she's asked to help find a baby taken from a local hospital.

Then the brutal, ritualistic murder of a woman found lying on a remote stone circle indicates a connection to the kidnapping and Paula knows that they will have to move fast if they are to find the person responsible.

When another child is taken and a pregnant woman goes missing, Paula finds herself caught up in a deadly hunt for a killer determined to leave no trace, and discovers every decision she makes really is a matter of life and death...

Author: Claire McGowan
First Release: 2014
ISBN: 978-1472204394
Publisher: Headline
The Silent Dead

Some say they deserve their fate. But isn't everyone entitled to justice?

Victim: Male. Mid-thirties. 5'7".

Cause of death: Hanging. Initial impression - murder.

ID: Mickey Doyle. Suspected terrorist and member of the Mayday Five.

The officers at the crime scene know exactly who the victim is. Doyle was one of five suspected bombers who caused the deaths of sixteen people.

The remaining four are also missing and when a second body is found, decapitated, it's clear they are being killed by the same methods their victims suffered.

Forensic psychologist Paula Maguire is assigned the case but she is up against the clock - both personally and professionally.

With moral boundaries blurred between victim and perpetrator, will Paula be able to find those responsible? After all, even killers deserve justice...

Author: Claire McGowan
First Release: 2015
ISBN: 978-1472204424
Publisher: Headline
A Savage Hunger

Blood stains the altar. Can she be found?

Victim: Female. Twenty-two years of age.

Reason for investigation: Missing person.

ID: Alice Morgan. Student. Last seen at a remote religious shrine in Ballyterrin.

Alice Morgan's disappearance raises immediate questions for forensic psychologist Paula Maguire. Alice, the daughter of a life peer in the Home Office, has vanished along with a holy relic - the bones of a saint - and the only trace is the bloodstains on the altar.

With no body to confirm death, the pressure in this high-profile case is all-consuming, and Paula knows that she will have to put her own life, including her imminent marriage, on hold, if they are to find the truth.

A connection to a decades-old murder immediately indicates that all may not be as it seems; as the summer heat rises and tempers fray, can Alice be found or will they learn that those that are hungry for vengeance may be the most savage of all?

Author: Claire McGowan
First Release: 2016
ISBN: 978-1472228123
Publisher: Headline
Blood Tide

A missing couple. A lurking killer. A perfect storm.

Called in to investigate the disappearance of a young couple during a violent storm, Paula Maguire, forensic psychologist, has mixed feelings about going back to Bone Island. Her last family holiday as a child was spent on its beautiful, remote beaches and returning brings back haunting memories of her long-lost mother.

It soon becomes clear that outsiders aren't welcome on the island, and with no choice but to investigate the local community, Paula soon suspects foul play, realizing that the islanders are hiding secrets from her, and each other.

With another storm fast approaching, Paula is faced with a choice. Leave alive or risk being trapped with a killer on an inescapable island, as the blood tide rushes in...

Author: Claire McGowan
First Release: 2017
ISBN: 978-1472228215
Publisher: Headline
The Killing House

Long-buried secrets are being unearthed. And they're very close to home...

When a puzzling missing persons' case opens up in her hometown, forensic psychologist Paula Maguire can't help but return once more.

Renovations at an abandoned farm have uncovered two bodies: a man known to be an IRA member missing since the nineties, and a young girl whose identity remains a mystery.

As Paula attempts to discover who the girl is and why no one is looking for her, an anonymous tip-off claims that her own long-lost mother is also buried on the farm.

When another girl is kidnapped, Paula must find the person responsible before more lives are destroyed. But there are explosive secrets still to surface. And even Paula can't predict that the investigation will strike at the heart of all she holds dear.

Author: Claire McGowan
First Release: 2018
ISBN: 978-1472228277
Publisher: Headline