#BookReview: The Undiscovered Deaths of Grace McGill by C.S. Robertson @HodderBooks #TheUndiscoveredDeathsofGraceMcGill #damppebbles


When people die alone and undiscovered, it’s her job to clean up what’s left behind – whether it’s clutter, bodily remains or dark secrets.

When an old man lies undetected in his flat for months, it seems an unremarkable life and an unnoticed death. But Grace knows that everyone has a story and that all deaths mean something more.


Hello and welcome to damppebbles. Today I am delighted to share my review of The Undiscovered Deaths of Grace McGill by C.S. Robertson. The Undiscovered Deaths of Grace McGill was published by Hodder & Stoughton on 20th January 2022 and is available in hardcover, audio and digital formats. I chose to read and review a free ARC of The Undiscovered Deaths of Grace McGill but that has in no way influenced my review. My grateful thanks to Steven at Hodder Books for sending me a proof copy.

When I first saw The Undiscovered Deaths of Grace McGill on social media, I knew I wanted to read it. You don’t meet many death cleaners in crime fiction and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to become acquainted with Grace McGill. Particularly as I’ve read and enjoyed this author’s work in the past. I was excited to make a start on this one so got stuck in as soon as my copy arrived at damppebbles HQ.

Grace McGill is a death cleaner. When people die and lay undiscovered for weeks, even months, Grace steps in once the body has been removed and completely disinfects the scene. Which we should all be thankful for seeing as what’s left behind can be pretty nasty! Grace is a lot more thorough than her colleagues, making sure mementoes are kept for family members (if and when they’re found!) and taking photos so she can pay her own tribute. Discovering a hidden photo and piles of newspapers in one such ‘client’s’ flat sparks the need to know more. But as Grace digs into Tommy Agnew’s past, long held secrets and terrible deeds come to light putting Grace in terrifying danger…

The Undiscovered Deaths of Grace McGill is a well-written mystery with lots of suspense and a twist in the tale. Grace is a very interesting character. You think you’ve got the measure of her but you probably haven’t. She’s the sort of character I love. Grace’s job makes her immediately intriguing – I mean, would you be a death cleaner? Do you know anyone who is a death cleaner? – but as the author peels away the layers, revealing the person behind the façade, you get to see what makes this woman tick and it’s quite a surprise!

The mystery at the heart of the novel is well-plotted and takes the reader back to Rothesay on the Isle of Bute in the 1960s. I loved the vivid descriptions the author uses to paint the seaside town in the reader’s mind, as it was then and how it is now. This is clearly an area Robertson knows well and is fond of. I enjoyed the time I spent in both Grace’s hometown of Glasgow and on Bute.

Would I recommend this book? I would, yes. The Undiscovered Deaths of Grace McGill is a compelling mystery novel which I enjoyed. It’s quite a dark read in places but hugely atmospheric and will appeal to crime fiction fans across the board. If you’re looking for a book with a slightly different spin on things then make sure you add this one to your shelf. I loved the setting, I loved Grace (in a strange way!) and I loved how gripping the book was, keeping me glued to the pages until the final word. Recommended.

I chose to read and review a free ARC of The Undiscovered Deaths of Grace McGill. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

The Undiscovered Deaths of Grace McGill by C.S. Robertson was published in the UK by Hodder & Stoughton on 20th January 2022 and is available in hardcover, audio and digital formats (please note, the following links are affiliate links which means I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.ukWaterstonesFoylesBook Depositorybookshop.orgGoodreadsdamppebbles bookshop.org shop |

A former journalist, Craig Robertson had a 20-year career with a Scottish Sunday newspaper before becoming a full-time author. He interviewed three Prime Ministers, reported on major stories including 9/11, Dunblane, the Omagh bombing and the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. He was pilloried on breakfast television, beat Oprah Winfrey to a major scoop, spent time on Death Row in the USA and dispensed polio drops in the backstreets of India. His first novel, Random, was shortlisted for the 2010 CWA New Blood Dagger, longlisted for the 2011 Crime Novel of the Year and was a Sunday Times bestseller. He has been both longlisted and shortlisted for writing prizes. He now shares his time between Scotland and California and can usually be found on a plane somewhere over the Atlantic.

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