Author: Helen Fitzgerald
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Format: Paperback 276 pages
Release Date: 16 May 2019
Publisher: Orenda Books
Firstly I would like to thank Anne Cater and Karen at Orenda Books for inviting me to join in this Blog Tour and for the copy of this book provided to me for review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Mary Shields is a moody, acerbic probation offer, dealing with some of Glasgow’s worst cases, and her job is on the line.
Imprisoned for murdering his wife, Liam Macdowall has published a series of letters to the dead woman, in a book that has made him an unlikely hero – a poster boy for Men’s Rights Activists.
Liam is released on licence into Mary’s care, but things are far from simple. Mary develops a poisonous obsession with Liam and his world, and when her son and Liam’s daughter form a relationship, Mary will stop at nothing to impose her own brand of justice … with devastating consequences.
This story follows Mary Shields who is an immensely overworked probation officer dealing with those individuals less desirable to society. I have worked with probation officers before and the author’s depiction of what they are expected to do with so little is extremely apt. The same can be said for social workers and to be honest, probably most jobs within the public sector in general.
What I did enjoy is how the author managed to put a comedic spin on what is otherwise quite a dire situation. I absolutely loved the way the author narrated us through Mary’s life in the ‘no holes barred’ way that she did. The profanity and the general way that Mary describes situations as if they are thoughts that were only meant for her head really tickled me at points.
I would say this book revolves more around Mary’s character and what she is going through and how she is slowly breaking apart rather than being a plot driven book. That’s not to say there isn’t a plot, because there is, and also a very clever plot twist at the end which I didn’t see coming and which kind of sums up how Mary’s luck goes from the beginning.
I would recommend reading this book for Mary alone, she’s not a likeable character, but she is one you won’t forget in a hurry and one that will give you a few laughs along the way!
About the Author
Helen FitzGerald is the bestselling author of ten adult and young adult thrillers, including The Donor (2011) and The Cry (2013), which was longlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, and is now a major drama for BBC1. Helen worked as a criminal justice social worker for over fifteen years. She grew up in Victoria, Australia. She now lives in Glasgow with her husband.
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