Claire MacLeary

Claire MacLeary lived for many years in Aberdeen and St Andrews, but describes herself as “a feisty Glaswegian with a full life to draw on”. Following a career in business, she gained an MLitt with Distinction from the University of Dundee and her short stories have been published in various magazines and anthologies. She has appeared at Granite Noir, Noir at the Bar and other literary events.

Claire’s crime series, Harcus & Laird, has been recieved with wide acclaim. Her debut novel and the first in the series, Cross Purpose, was longlisted for the prestigious McIlvanney Prize, Scottish Crime Book of the Year Award 2017. Burnout was longlisted for the Hearst Big Book Award 2018. Runaway, her third novel, was published in 2019. Payback is Claire’s fourth novel and continues the Harcus & Laird series.

In Death Drop, the fifth Harcus & Laird novel, PIs Maggie and Wilma find themselves chasing leads on several fronts, including a missing Aberdeen schoolchild and the fallout from a disturbing hanging with a backstory of secrets and lies. Death Drop is out in July 2022.


Harcus & Laird Book 4

by Claire MacLeary

  • RRP: £8.99 (print) / £4.99 (ebook)
  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781912235827
  • Ebook ISBN: 9781912235834

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When the body of Aberdeen socialite Annabel Imray is discovered at her home, the police are under pressure to come up with answers – and fast. The last thing they want is the distraction of a series of baffling break-ins.

The victims, all of them women, are terrorised: just how did the intruder know so much about them? Meanwhile, local PIs Maggie Laird and Wilma Harcus are at rock bottom, their bills mounting. As Maggie prepares to sell her home and contemplates dissolving the agency, Wilma goes off-piste to get a loan. But when the clock starts ticking on repayment, she realises the price is too high. And before long, Maggie herself is in grave danger. Wilma fears the worst. Can she find her before it’s too late?

Payback is the fourth thriller in the Harcus & Laird series.



‘Time spent in the company of Maggie Laird and Wilma Harcus is never wasted … Claire MacLeary has a canny way with light and shade. Her books are not afraid to deal with dark and gritty subject matter, yet she manages to inject a degree of humour into them so that … we find ourselves laughing as often as we gasp at developments … Aberdeen springs to life in her vivid settings’ Live and Deadly

“A well written, excellently executed book. Dark, dangerous and full of suspense. If you enjoy detective drama this one is for you.” Cen-sational Reads

'Claire MacLeary has, with little fuss or fanfare, written a crime series that subverts and rejuvenates the crime genre' Scots Whay Hae

"Gripping…a real page-turner." Charlotte’s Pick

"Two fabulous, feisty, funny, ballsy and brave women of a certain age. It's fantastic to see two such well-drawn, engaging and entertaining female protagonists … Payback was a joy to read." Suze Reviews

"Payback is another fantastic addition to this series … With each page I turned I felt myself getting pulled in further and further … I’m really excited to see where we are taken next on Maggie and Wilma’s journey." It’s all about the books

"Horribly, hilariously entertaining … the complex … frightening story that emerges is a satisfying end to the novel … two feisty women whom we certainly hope to meet again." Rosemary Kaye