‘Ask No Questions’ by Claire Allan

Author : Claire Allan
Title : Ask No Questions
Pages : 336
Publisher : Avon Books UK
Publication date : January 21, 2021


Twenty-five years ago, on Halloween night, eight-year-old Kelly Doherty went missing while out trick or treating with friends. Her body was found three days later, floating face down, on the banks of the Creggan Reservoir by two of her young classmates. It was a crime that rocked Derry to the core. 

Journalist Ingrid Devlin is investigating – but someone doesn’t want her to know the truth. As she digs further, Ingrid starts to realise that the Doherty family are not as they seem. But will she expose what really happened that night before it’s too late?


Claire Allan is one of those authors you can always rely on to deliver a solid psychological thriller and so while I often seem to struggle with this genre lately, I felt fairly confident I’d enjoy Ask No Questions.

On Halloween twenty-five years ago, eight year old Kelly Doherty goes missing while out trick or treating. Her body is found three days later by ten year old twin brothers Declan and Niall. Now, on the anniversary of Kelly’s murder, journalist Ingrid Devlin is investigating. Ingrid is a local herself and has memories of that night, although she isn’t entirely sure if they can be trusted. Was the man convicted of Kelly’s murder guilty? Who knows. But someone clearly doesn’t want Ingrid finding out the truth about what happened that night.

I do love a good cold case, which in a way this is. But Ask No Questions isn’t just about whodunnit. For a psychological thriller, it’s at times quite heartbreaking when witnessing the effect this decades old murder still has on Kelly’s family and other members of the community. It also really brings home how life for the children in the town changed after Kelly went missing and was subsequently found dead. That moment in childhood when you unfortunately learn that monsters are sadly very, very real and life will never be the same again. And what about poor Declan and Niall, who had the misfortune of finding Kelly’s body at such a young age?

This is one of those books that pulls you in right from the prologue and doesn’t let go. I didn’t particularly like Ingrid all the time but a lot of that was influenced by my own thoughts about journalists and how they hide behind the “news is news” excuse when a lot of it feels like sheer exploitation and preying on people’s vulnerabilities. However, Ingrid also shows immense determination in trying to get to the truth, especially when it becomes obvious someone is trying to stop her from doing that.

So what really happened to Kelly? I had a pretty good idea but I was missing the bigger picture as to the who and the why. That right there is a whole other devastating part of the story on its own. Ask No Questions is often as devastating as it is tense. It’s a combination Claire Allan does incredibly well. An addictive and gripping story about families and justice that I’m sure will appeal to fans of this author and the genre.

With thanks to the publisher for the review copy.

Bookshop UK | Hive UK | Kobo | Waterstones

  6 comments for “‘Ask No Questions’ by Claire Allan

  1. January 26, 2021 at 10:37 am

    Delighted to see you enjoyed this one too Eva

    Liked by 1 person

  2. January 26, 2021 at 6:47 pm

    Great review, Eva! x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. January 27, 2021 at 10:14 am

    Wow, I am about 30% in, enjoying it so far and eager for answers. Glad you liked this one, Eva. Great review.


  4. January 30, 2021 at 5:40 am

    Wonderful review Eva. I have not read any Claire Allan books, but with this review, i need to remedy that soon.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: