Having long had an interest in writing short stories and poetry, which she loved, it was not until Gallagher's children were in their late teens that Maureen "dipped her toe in the literary world."
Described as an "accidental crime writer", the foray into the social climate of Ireland during that time was no accident for Gallagher, who as an activist has lent her voice to a multitude of causes over the decades. She found that due to the structure of novel it "allowed her to explore social issues, something dear to her heart."
Limbo takes place in 1989 and is focused on Dublin based Garda Detective, Kate Francis aka Frankie. Frankie is dispatched to investigate a murder of a baby boy found in the sand dunes of Gweedore. Suspicion falls on a resident of the town who was recently heavily pregnant, but has no baby to show.
Gallagher chose to set Limbo in Gweedore for both nostalgic reasons, but also because she was fascinated with "juxtaposing a horrible crime like the murder of a baby against a backdrop of such exquisite beauty."
The synopsis of Limbo details the relentless journey Frankie takes to search for the killer of 'the strand baby'. Lines of enquiry lead her to Umfin Island, where she encounters the strange rituals of the followers of Brigid, the Goddess of Fertility. The investigation leads her to bomb planting on the border and across to Derry, where she finds herself operating under the watchful eyes of both the IRA and the British army.
Gallagher’s stories, poetry and literary criticism have been published widely in magazines and journals and she has won prizes many times for her work. Her first poetry collection, Calling the Tune, was published by Wordsonthestreet Press in December 2008. Limbo is published by Poolbeg Press and is available in all good bookshops and on Amazon. Her website can be viewed here
The launch of Limbo takes place in Charlie Byrnes Bookshop on October 20 at 6pm.
Author of Limbo, Maureen Gallagher.