| ABOUT THE BOOK |
Mary Shields is a moody, acerbic probation offer, dealing with some of Glasgow’s worst cases, and her job is on the line.
Liam Macdowall was imprisoned for murdering his wife, and he’s published a series of letters to the dead woman, in a book that makes him an unlikely hero – and 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.
| MY THOUGHTS |
Whatever you think this book will be about, set your thoughts aside. This is nothing like I expected and that’s a marvellous thing because Worst Case Scenario is incredibly original, refreshing and just an all-round fabulous surprise.
Just look at this opening line!
Every time Mary tried to relax in the bath, a paedophile ruined it.
Meet Mary Shields, a criminal justice social worker. Mary is awfully moody, menopausal, has a bit of a drinking problem, likes the occasional joint and is just plain fed up with her job and ready for retirement. She is also one of the most fantastic characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting and she had me chuckling from the very first page, even when at times it didn’t seem all that appropriate. You know how you sometimes laugh out loud and then quickly cover your mouth with your hand because it feels wrong? Yes, that. Then Liam, a man who spent time in prison for murdering his wife, is released on licence into Mary’s care. How could anything possibly go wrong?
Worst Case Scenario is often witty but also dark and moving. It’s extremely easy to imagine the frustration these social workers go through on a daily basis. With mountains of paperwork, flexitime and criminals that need constant supervision who keep finding ways to break the restrictions that have been put upon them, it’s a small miracle these social workers don’t go absolutely insane. Heck, I’d be drinking!
I’m trying to keep this vague because you should experience Mary’s turmoil for yourself. There are some tough topics along the way, all too realistic and believable and ultimately also thought-provoking. While part of me kept thinking there was no way things could possibly end well, shit hits the fan in a way I couldn’t have predicted at all. But I loved everything about it. I was quite sad to see my journey with Mary coming to an end and I’m secretly hoping she will be back some day.
I knew I’d enjoy this one, because Orenda Books never lets me down, but I wasn’t prepared for how much I’d absolutely love it. Gripping, addictive, impossible to put down and with an incredible female protagonist you can’t help but root for, Worst Case Scenario is responsible for one of the best afternoons I’ve ever had. As such, this moves straight onto my list of books of the year. A list which Orenda Books may just end up dominating at this rate. Highly recommend you check this one out!
Worst Case Scenario is available to buy!
| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |
Helen FitzGerald is the second youngest of thirteen children. She grew up in the small town of Kilmore, Victoria, Australia, and studied English and History at the University of Melbourne. Via India and London, Helen came to Glasgow University where she completed a Diploma and Masters in Social Work.
She works part time as a criminal justice social worker in Glasgow. She’s married to screenwriter Sergio Casci, and they have two children.