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A Terrible Beauty

(Katie Maguire #1)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  4,367 ratings  ·  518 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
Paperback, 369 pages
Published February 25th 2003 by Pocket Star Books
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cat reads Throwing Knocknadeenly in a google maps search, I did find it on the north/west side of Cork, Ireland, so it looks like a real place. I couldn't find…moreThrowing Knocknadeenly in a google maps search, I did find it on the north/west side of Cork, Ireland, so it looks like a real place. I couldn't find Iollan forest though. (less)
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Average rating 3.84  · 
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Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: xx2017-completed
1. Set up your blender and make sure it is unplugged.

2. Throw in a pile of 80 year old bones from 11 women that have been stripped of all flesh.

3. Add little “dollies” with old screws and nails in them threaded through holes drilled in the tops of the thigh bones.

4. The recipe also calls for two more young women, and the flesh must be stripped before death, if possible.

5. The recipe also calls for a live woman – someone in a position of power, like Detective Superintendent Katie Maguire.

6. Add
Mary Beth *Traveling Sister*
Jan 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Almost 4.5 stars! A good supernatural horror mystery but not for every one! Very grotesque but also scary! If you can handle a lot, and nothing gets to you this one is for you! Its about Superintendent Detective Katie Maguire tries to solve an ancient ritual which is very ominous and scary.
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. Okay, maybe really uncomfortable.

I lived in Co. Cork in Ireland many years ago so was familiar with the "Cork lingo" used
A book that has been sitting on my Kindle for a while and recently brought to my attention again, I thought it was high time I went in.

Bones are discovered on Meagher's Farm. These though are dismembered bones of eleven women in total. A high number for one discovery in a land where folklore and mythical legend is rife and stories of old carry though for hundreds of years. The discovery is a gruesome one and is put into the hands of Detective Superintendent Kate Maguire. Focusing on violent and
Jul 16, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
The American edition of this book is titled "A Terrible Beauty".
Apr 03, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, kate-maguire
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
White Bones introduces Detective Katie Maguire. When the bones of 11 women are found on an isolated farm in County Cork in Ireland, Katie is initially told to drop the case as the deaths date back to 1915. But then a young American tourist goes missing and her body turns up on the same farm.
I've been hesitant for a while now to start this series because of the mixed reviews and mentions of 'supernatural', but it turned out to be a really solid Irish crime procedural and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
My copy of this is called 'White Bones', (rather than 'A Terrible Beauty') which is a much better, more fitting, name in my opinion.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this novel. It perfectly walked the line between crime and thriller, it was descriptive and gruesome but not off-puttingly so, and the plot and Irish mythology was interesting. The MC, Katie Maguire, was awesome, despite her terrible taste in men (legit hated that husband). She was smart, tough, hardworking and badass but still kind,
Kylie H
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adrenalin, crime
This is the first book I have nearly lost my lunch to! There are some very graphic and utterly brutal scenes described in this book. Katie is trying to solve the mystery behind a gruesome find, the bones of 11 women. Who killed them and why? It appears to be part of an ancient Celtic ritual. But is Katie about to get a little too close for comfort?
Jul 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016, own
On a farm in Cork, Ireland, the skeletons of 11 women are found. According to the medical examiner, the flesh was meticulously stripped from their bones before the remains were buried. The Garda already fears a serial killer when it turns out that the bodies have been in the ground since 1915 and Detective Superintendent Katie Maguire is ordered to drop the case. She can't shake the feeling that she should keep investigating, however - and when but a few days later the remains of a fresh victim, ...more
Apr 04, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
To my mind the ghoulishness of the book got in the way of the believability of the plot. Are we supposed to believe that the victims would love through so much torture? And that the killer would get rid of the university expert in such an absurdly messy, time consuming, and from his point of view, dangerous way - why not shoot or stab him?And why was the hermaphrodite twist necessary? But well written and certainly a page turner.
Sep 10, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ireland, horror
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
Feb 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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?

This is my first Masterton and despite him being known more for his horror work, I decided to go with this series as it seems to be what author is currently focused on. I went into it completely blind but familiar with author's name enough to know he is a fairly big deal which is why the mediocrity of this novel surprised me. Only stand out, or at least memorable scenes are the torture/murder scenes that are quite gory which says a lot about what are Masterton's strengths. Characterization,
Jul 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 01, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Aug 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book for 2 reasons: its price (2,99 - it was on sale) and that the story took place in Ireland, a country very present lately in my life and in my readings.
It turned out to be great purchase.
The author was a writer of horror prior to turning his hand to crime, and it’s evident from chapter one.
It also caught my attention that the author was male and the detective female… a combination that you rarely see.
The plot was a little too over the top toward the end and (view spoiler)
Books 'n' All  Promotions
Excellent thriller the stuff of nightmares. This is definitely a 'hard to put down' book my only complaint is that it lost something towards the end and I am still a little confused who actually did the removing of flesh and I am also sceptical about the length of time someone could actually live with such pain before dying from shock and the ending where I was supposed to believe there was a possibility of actually raising a witch ????? Having said that it is a good read well written I just ...more
Apr 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stunning, just stunning! Never saw the little shock at the end.
A slightly different book with so many snippets added throughout a traditional murder/police procedural. A dollop of drama, a smidgen of fantasy, a pinch of horror and a whiff of romance rounded out a thriller of a read.
Visceral, but perhaps too much of a MEGA shitty week for Katie. I like my gore but my tummy did a complete flip-flop over poor Sargent exploded all over a tree. :(
Can't wait to read more from this exceptional author!
Trigger warnings: If you are at all squeamish, DO NOT READ THIS BOOK OMFG. Torture, gore (like, really REALLY graphic gore from the perspective of the victim), blood, domestic violence, death of a child (in the past), explosions, drowning, (view spoiler)

So I just wrote an entire review of this and Goodreads was like "Oh, you wanted to save that? TOO BAD." So now I'm going to burn the world down.

Anyway. I liked Katie as a
Graham Masterton a new author to me. I have since discovered that he is a horror writer and, boy, does this come out in the horrible crimes committed.
Katie Maquire is a Det.Insp. in the Garda in Cork and has a lot to liveup to and continuously has to prove herself with the old-guard of the police force. She is also married to Paul, who it turns out is a bit of a minor criminal on the side.

A huge amount of bones are discovered on a farm- 11 bodies worth(or so) in total they think, by the time
Lynda Kelly
Nov 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book and the authors way of telling a story.i will be looking for the rest of this series. He adds just the right amount of horror and gore along with his way of getting you to connect with the carters. This was a story about a woman cop detective that gets a case of 10 body's that were dug up at a farm by acadent.she has a rough time threw out the investigation with family and personal problems. The case turns out to be from a very long time a go and ritual.but if it ...more
Jan 02, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First in a series! So it needs to engage. Some interesting characters here, and a bit of dark humor - the two elements completely necessary to weigh out the gloom in detective/police procedurals.
But way too much has been thrown in. Less is more to build the bones of an ongoing series. Over the top descriptive violence jars here; a few scenes needed to be heavily edited or deleted altogether. We are never really quite sure who we should care about but we have enough grounding to propel forward
Paul McAvoy
Dec 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A real page-turner from the master storyteller... I will be checking out the rest of the series. Masterton writes crisp prose with hints of humour at times and the characters come alive on the page. Rather gruesome at times, but a great read.
Warnings for potential spoilers throughout my review as I talk about specific examples of just what kind of gory violence Masterton seems to revel in. Anything that is particularly spoilery - in terms of the plot - I've put in the appropriate tags.

There was a decent enough plot, but unfortunately for me, there was just too much overwhelming description of gratuitous gore and and violence and dismemberment for my liking. I realise that apparently the author has also written horror novels, but
Book Review originally published here:

When I saw White Bones for only 2 euros at a book fair, I couldn’t say no to it. First of all, I usually enjoy Graham Masterton’s writing style, and secondly, the plot sounded great. Well, the book definitely was no dissapointment, even if the plot was a little too over the top toward the end.

Katie Maguire is Irelan’s first female detective of her rank, so she needs to overcome a lot of prejudices. When a farmer on
For me Graham Masterton is synonymous with “The Manitou”. Mr. Masterton has been responsible for some of my most cringe-worthy horror reads and his Night Warriors books still remain some of my favorites. For a long while he sort of dropped off my radar and then I came across his crime thriller series featuring Katie Maguire. I started the series with the most recent book so I knew I wanted to go back and check out the first few.

WHITE BONES by Graham Masterton

When some construction on a farm
Tobin Elliott
Aug 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, fiction
I've been reading Masterton since his first novel, The Manitou. I absolutely adored his horror novels, but then, for whatever reason, I kind of fell away from him. Likely due to the fact that I simply couldn't find a lot of his works in the bookstores in town.

Fast forward several decades, and I see that he's now writing crime thrillers (on top of all the other genres he's in). Which leads us to the first in the Katie Maguire series.

I really enjoyed this novel. Not much gets to me, but I actually
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Goodreads Librari...: Same Book, Different Title 3 35 Jun 23, 2014 06:44PM  
crime and fantasy mix? come on....... 4 18 Jan 02, 2014 05:57AM  
Am I the only person who thinks that this book is awful? 1 19 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 men's magazine Mayfair, where he encouraged William Burroughs to develop a series of scientific and philosophical articles ...more

Other books in the series

Katie Maguire (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Broken Angels (Katie Maguire, #2)
  • Red Light (Katie Maguire #3)
  • Taken for Dead (Katie Maguire, #4)
  • Blood Sisters (Katie Maguire, #5)
  • Buried (Katie Maguire, #6)
  • Living Death (Katie Maguire, #7)
  • Dead Girls Dancing (Katie Maguire, #8)
  • Dead Men Whistling (Katie Maguire, #9)
  • Begging to Die (Katie Maguire, #10)
  • The Last Drop of Blood (Katie Maguire #11)
“She climbed out of the car and walked across the farmyard with her raincoat collar turned up. Liam was standing by the open grave with his hands in the pockets of his long brown” 1 likes
“Mor-Rioghain is a bean-sidhe, a banshee,” 0 likes
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