A Terrible Beauty (Katie Maguire, #1)
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A Terrible Beauty (Katie Maguire #1)

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  762 ratings  ·  148 reviews
"There are things I need to know..." On a farm in southern Ireland, the dismembered bones of eleven women are found in a common grave, buried eight decades ago. Detective Superintendent Katie Maguire is used to bloodshed, but this ivory litter of human remains is unimaginable butchery.

"Of other worlds apart from this..."

In isolated darkness not far away, an American touris...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published February 25th 2003 by Pocket Star Books
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I did really enjoy this book and probably would have given it four stars except for the fact that the plot became a little too preposterous at the end. The central character Katie Maguire was great and the sub-plot around her marriage was an interesting addition. The story flowed really well, albeit with some pretty gruesome moments, right up until the end which seemed really rushed and was the point at which things became a little bit ridiculous particularly in the solving of the case involving...more
Melvin Mathews
A very good read. I finished it in 3 hours - I could not put it down. I was so involved in the book that when I read the bit about each victim just before they were abducted, I would will them not to get in the car. Then I would will the police to find them before the murderer started on them. It was very gruesome to read about what was being done to them and the next time I re-read this book, I'm going to skip those bits.

I liked the female protagonist - Katie Macguire was not sassy or badass,...more
The special thing about that book is the balancing act between the Crime and Thriller genre and the mystic wind that is blowing around all the time.

Without getting lost in details the author manages it to create a lot of empathy for the Detective and main character in this story. He uses a lot of just slightly touched infos about her, mixed with a nearly stream of consciousness like insight to her feelings.I seldomly felt more connected to a protagonist in a story.
I really enjoyed the dark and d...more
The only complaint I have is there isn't enough starts to check off, talk about sinistre, police procedural done Irish style, holy cow, this book is absolutely great. Had to get my head around some of the Irish terms but it didn't take long to figure it out. For those you are into blood, guts and gore this is the book. Glad I started reading this author.
Carl Alves
Graham Masterton is an absolutely brilliant writer. I only started reading his novels inthe past five years and I still have to catch up on his earlier stuff, but everything that Masterton writes is top notch. A Terrible Beauty was the second novel of his that I read after The Doorkeepers (spoiler alert – that will also be appearing on my list) and I was just wowed by how masterful he is at the craft of his writing. If I could describe A Terrible Beauty in one word, it would be gritty.

Set in Ire...more
Murder mystery or horror story?

When I started reading this book I was taken back to holidays in Southern Ireland around Cork, Cobh and Kinsale. I couldn't help but read the dialogue in the lilting (and probably wholly inaccurate) accent of Father Ted and Mrs Doyle and was lost in the descriptions of the wonderful countryside of this remarkable country and the idioms of its people.

And then Fiona Kelly was kidnapped.

The book starts off as a murder investigation following the discovery of 11 skelet...more
Absolutely loved this book. The main character was well developed and multi-faceted. The story line was excellent and the sick shit was truly sick!

Katie is a detective in an Irish police force. She is in fact the first woman detective and therefore in the spotlight and working hard to prove her worth. She is married to a man who has lost his way and dabbles in the not so legal side of things. On top of this she is dealing with the grief of having lost her only child. Her character is well devel...more
This is a grisly tale of murder, ancient rituals and even some political tension all set in Cork and its surrounds. Though not himself Irish, Masterton masterfully captures the cadence of the region in both his dialogue and his prose (there is even a glossary for those unfamiliar with some of the dialect’s slang). Even the first opening pages leaves you wishing for an audio version! The strong setting is by far one of the highlights of the book.

There are some scenes that will turn a weak stomach...more
'White Bones' is a very, very dark novel set in dark weathered and rainy Cork, Ireland and written by an author who spent many years writing horror novels. This is in fact a cross between a crime and a horror novel with gruesome torture and murder accounts described in minute details.

Detective Superintendent Katie Maguire is called to a farm where a large number of human bones have been unearthed whilst laying the foundations to a new building. Forensic investigation concluded that the bones wer...more
Masterton, Graham – A Terrible Beauty – VG
"There are things I need to know... On a farm in southern Ireland, the dismembered bones of eleven women are found in a common grave, buried eight decades ago. Detective Superintendent Katie Maguire is used to bloodshed, but this ivory litter of human remains is unimaginable butchery. Of other worlds apart from this... In isolated darkness not far away, an American tourist is at the mercy of a serial killer. His tools are a boning knife, twine, and a dol...more
Another good horror novel from the author I consider to be one of the most original and scary storytellers there is.

Back Cover Blurb:
On a farm in southern Ireland, the dismembered bones of eleven women are found in a common grave, buried eight decades ago. Detective Superintendent Katie Maguire is used to bloodshed, but this ivory litter of human remains is unimaginable butchery.
In isolated darkness not far away, an American tourist is at the mercy of a serial killer. His tools are a boning knif...more
This was ok in that it is like watching one of those cop programmes - say CSI - on tv, and then towards the end you realise that you have lost a precious hour of your life to this horror and drivel. Well, there you are. It is horror and drivel and I could hardly wait to finish it, so I hardly put it down. Well written, nicely set in Ireland, but gratuitously horrific detail (much of which I skipped) of the 'crime' and - well, I often feel that authors are not writing for readers anymore, but the...more
I thought I rated this book before...maybe it was another edition..

Anyhow--Masterton at the top of his game! What more needs to be said?
Rosa Macpherson
Good plot, well paced, compelling characters. However it was just a bit too gruesome, even for me. I think the form of the murders was unnecessarily violent and I don't think it's even possible to keep someone alive and do the things that was done. That aside though, it was quite satisfying. Masterton writes well.
Janette Fleming
There are things I need to know...

On a farm in southern Ireland, the dismembered bones of eleven women are found in a common grave, buried eight decades ago. Detective Superintendent Katie Maguire is used to bloodshed, but this ivory litter of human remains is unimaginable butchery.

Of other worlds apart from this...

In isolated darkness not far away, an American tourist is at the mercy of a serial killer. His tools are a boning knife, twine, and a doll fashioned from nails and fishhooks. The murd
The most gruesome book I have read I think but at the end I noticed that the author used to be a horror writer before turning to crime.

Bombs, drownings, limbs torn off and murders too yucky to detail set in Cork but with an interesting twist. Only read it if you have a strong stomach.
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A really good story, however there were a few really violent scenes in the book, described in full detail which made really uncomfortable reading, the graphic detail was totally unnecessary and spoiled my enjoyment of what was a good story.
A Terrible Beauty is a ritualistic-serial killer mystery that is probably pretty good. My husband liked it. But I was unable to get beyond the first 70 pages because, by that point, the sadistic, graphic details just proved too much for me.
White Bones was an engrossing read with a heavy stress on gross ! I mean the descriptions of skinning did make me feel queesy so much so that I had to skip these interludes. I presume that the author uses the vivid transcriptions to make his series stand up among others because to be honest otherwise the series does not put anything new to the table. I was interested in the Irish angle and it was a nice touch but in terms of the supernatural there is nothing special here. John Connelly does it m...more
This really is a good crime thriller, done Irish style. Never thought that the countryside around Cork could be so dangerous! Well written, decriptive and atmospheric, great characterisation, a good core plot with lots of angles and complexity, and good secondary plots around the protagonist's husband. The author's history in writing horror certainly came through in the torture scenes written from the point of view of the victims - very rarely do I feel squeamish reading words on a page, but a c...more
I used to read a huge amount of crime/mystery novels but over the past 5 years or so I have not read that many. What I do know now after reading this book is that I will be reading more. This was such a great novel with a fantastic main character, Katie, who makes me want to read more. The only reason this is 4 star rather than 5 star is purely because I had already guessed the ending very soon into the book.

Don't let that put you off though this is the first Masterton I have read (of what I rem...more
I really enjoyed this book. As a fan of Masterton's earlier horror stories I can see more than a glimpse of those roots in the gruesome nature of the murders, but I don't have a problem with that. It actually reminded me in several places of one of my favourite of his books, Ritual. Although completely different in composition and story I found myself thinking of it several times, but that's no bad thing either. The ending felt a little rushed after such an interesting tale but even so it left m...more
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
I really like this book for a number of reasons. Firstly, it's nice to have a crime writer who is not scared to get a bit gory in their writing, perhaps because Graham Masterton was a writer of horror prior to turning his hand to crime had something to do with this. I say this because there are a few scenes in this great book that would make some people a touch uncomfortable.

I lived in Co. Cork in Ireland many years ago so was familiar with the "Cork lingo" used in the book such as the use of t...more
Adam Wilson
Masterton’s A Terrible Beauty is yet another Masterton novel involving horrific mutilation and ancient rituals. Somehow though, Masterton still manages to keep things fresh. Maybe it is his gift at making unique characters, his way of not making the entire book obvious by page fifty, and his unflinching descriptions of violence. In this book, women are “boned,” and that involves nothing sexual. It also has one of the creepiest villains I’ve ever come across in a book. I always find it creepy whe...more
Sara Townsend
When a farmer in Cork unearths human bones on his land, Katie Maguire, Cork Garda’s only female detective, is drawn into a horrifying murder case. The remains of eleven bodies are eventually uncovered. All were women, all look like they were skinned alive, and all the bones are revealed to have been there since 1915. Going against advice to leave this cold case alone and investigate more contemporary crimes, Katie is moved to discover what happened to these women and why they were killed in such...more
Lynda Kelly
I really liked this story but it did drive me to distraction that it's supposed to be set in Ireland and all the spellings were American. This is the 3rd author in a couple of weeks I've come across that's done this. While it's fine and dandy and we have to deal with it when it's set over there it is very annoying when it's not. All plowing, modernized and realized, etc.
The author did use poring correctly-I'll give him that. Then there were a lot of missed speechmarks which wasn't good. Then som...more
Steve Wilcockson
Graham Masterton, another name from my early days of reading and someone I decided needed revisiting.

White Bones is very much a straight forward detective book with just the slightest hint of the supernatural but it's real strength lies in it's setting. Set in Cork City in the south of Ireland it brings into it's narrative the long running English conflict as well as the seedy criminal underbelly and the travelling community to ensure things do not go as smoothly as possible for Katie Maguire.

Gadget Girl
I really loved this book; a brilliantly well written page turner, based in Ireland where 11 female skeletons were found in a pile buried in the Meaghre's field. The girls had been gruesomely stripped of skin and muscle while alive and had been buried there since 1915.
Then after a tourist goes missing and her bones are found on the same farm in an archaic pattern...has it started again?

This is the first of 2 books from the Katie Maguire series and from here runs a fab murder mystery combined wit...more
Its clear the author has a history of horror writing, as its more a horror book. He has also clearly read quite a few anatomy books, although to be picky its not as clear that he understands what he is writing, using anatomical names for effect it seems. Don't get me wrong, I'm not bothered by reading violence in a book, but some of this was excessive. Also some entirely unnecessary f/f sexual tones. But then he is ex executive editor of Penthouse and Penthouse Forum and author of How To Drive Y...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Same Book, Different Title 3 19 Jun 23, 2014 06:44PM  
crime and fantasy mix? come on....... 4 6 Jan 02, 2014 05:57AM  
Am I the only person who thinks that this book is awful? 1 3 Oct 12, 2013 03:33PM  
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Graham Masterton was born in Edinburgh in 1946. His grandfather was Thomas Thorne Baker, the eminent scientist who invented DayGlo and was the first man to transmit news photographs by wireless. After training as a newspaper reporter, Graham went on to edit the new British menis magazine Mayfair, where he encouraged William Burroughs to develop a series of scientific and philosophical articles whi...more
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