Black, Helen - 'Blood Rush'
Lilly Valentine is a solicitor who is known for her specialist knowledge and representation of children in care, but who now only considers easier more domestic cases such as divorce. Her home and business life is chaotic. With a teenage son and a baby daughter by a different father, Lilly lurches from one domestic crisis to another, calling on friends, day care and her former partner, Jack, a serving police officer to help her out. At the office, her working methods have meant that she cannot keep a secretary and is danger of losing the few cases she has on her books.
Against her better judgment, Lilly takes on the case of Tanisha, a girl with a difficult background who is charged with possession. Tanisha is now settled with a foster mother, Arabella, who is convinced that she can make a difference to Tanisha's future. However, a young girl has been beaten up and left for dead by a gang of girls and Tanisha is named as being part of the gang. She is charged with attempted murder.
Another teenager, Jamie comes from an affluent background, attending a boarding school while his parents pursue their careers. Very lonely and increasingly isolated, James turns to drugs to make his days bearable. He meets Trick and falls in love and gets drawn into the life of a drug addict who only lives from one fix to the next. Soon the very different worlds of Tanisha and Jamie collide and the violence escalates.
I enjoyed the book even though I found it a very uncomfortable read. The world of people living on the edge in sink estates ruled by violent gangs and drug pushers rings true. Lily Valentine as a character, a single mother trying to bring up two children alone, juggling the demands of family and business is also well written. I just wish she had spent more time putting the needs of her children before her casework.
Susan White, England