The Drowned (DS Katie Macguire #7.5), by Graham Masterton

Eight stars

I continue my epic journey through Graham Masterton’s Detective Sergeant (now Superintendent) Katie Macguire series, eager to get my hands on one of the short stories. While it is not entirely time sensitive, there are some breadcrumbs that show its place at this point in the series. Macguire is as busy as ever, but also has a great support team who work through a number of cases, including the one that will eventually be the crux of this short piece. Masterton does not lose his lustre with a page limit, proving just how strong a storyteller he can be and leaves me eager to forge onwards with the next novel.

When five young men do not return home after a night out on the town, their families reach out the the Garda for some assistance. Detective Superintendent Macguire has members of her team following leads, but no one has seen these young men since they left the club they attended. One piece of news surfaces that they were all involved in a sexual encounter that appeared to go somewhat sideways, but that does not explain where they might have gone.

When a search and rescue team locates a vehicle at the bottom of the river, it may be the best lead to date, but does not provide a clear answer. The Garda comb through the facts and seek to cut out any hoaxes that may muddy the waters (if you pardon the pun). However, it’s not long thereafter that something promising may come to light, though with each piece of news, someone else must suffer. Masterton brilliantly pulls the reader into the middle of this story and adds some depth to those characters who usually provide some of the minor roles within the series.

Without getting into too much detail, I will say that those who are interested in the DS Macguire series should not start here, but rather at the very beginning. If there are some who do not wish to commit to a full novel before they make the leap, they might want to check out the previous short story, which has fewer ties to the series progression at that point. Masterton’s strong writing abilities and detail when it comes to his characters is not lost on the attentive reader. Another gem that will surely prove a treat for those who have loved the series to date!

Kudos, Mr. Masterton, for another great piece! I am eager to get back to the full-length novels as there are some stellar cliffhangers that were not resolved with this piece.