This one shocks from the very beginning. It’s not for the faint-hearted, so if you’re not up for graphic language, descriptions of sex, and the many methods that can be used to achieve all sorts of pleasure without necessarily needing the assistance of a human partner, I’d suggest you walk swiftly past. HOWEVER … if you’re up for the pace and can keep up with the twists and turns then go ahead … and just excuse any puns or connotations you might associate with … anything from here on out!
Mary Shields is a frazzled, menopausal, frustrated, hot mess of a probation officer on the edge!! Not someone you want to mess with. She can’t wait to quit! She’s almost, but not quite there. She’s just waiting for absent hubby Roddie to sign his big deal because he’s finally got a big break and been recognised as one of the best colour-in-er-er in the comic world! She just needs to get through her final case, social media glam darling Dr Liam MacDowall who’s made a name for himself by compiling a book of the letters he wrote to his dead wife – the wife he killed. He is a despicable specimen. His daughter Holly adores her beloved dad, and Mary’s world is turned on its axis when her adored son Jack gets involved with this hideous family and the Men’s Rights Movement that is instrumental and intent on plotting Mary’s downfall.
Fitzgerald does have a gift for describing a woman who’s really fed up with being messed around by the system and everyone else! Her turn of phrase is brilliant “the guy had a face you’d never tire of slapping” and “couldn’t read it for more than three seconds without needing alcohol” are two of my favourite examples!
But just when you think you know exactly how this case is going to play out – well, wouldn’t you go and be entirely wrong!? Bad luck seems to stalk Mary no matter where she goes and who she’s trying to help. She just can’t catch a break. But in showing us all of this, the author also shows us a picture of a system that doesn’t trip along smoothly, in fact, it trips up its workers at every turn. Accused of abusing the flexi-system, Mary herself has a flagrant disregard for all the restrictions and rules that prevent her from being able to do her job to the best of her ability. The realities are alarming, and are a clever underlying theme of the story.
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.
Thank you to Anne Cater and Orenda Books for inviting me along for the blog tour. Take a look at what these bloggers are saying about Worst Case Scenario …