A quiet English town is left reeling when twelve-year-old Daniel Blake is discovered to have brutally murdered his schoolmate Felicity Forbes.
For provincial solicitor Leo Curtice, the case promises to be the most high profile – and morally challenging - of his career. But as he begins his defence Leo is unprepared for the impact the public fury surrounding Felicity’s death will have on his family - and his teenage daughter Ellie, above all.
While Leo struggles to get Daniel to open up, hoping to unearth the reasons for the boy’s terrible crime, the build-up of pressure on Leo’s family intensifies. As the case nears its climax, events will take their darkest turn. For Leo, nothing will ever be the same again . . .
British author Lelic follows his acclaimed debut, A Thousand Cuts, with an equally gripping psychological thriller also inspired by a horrific real-life crime. All England is appalled by the vicious sex murder of 11-year-old Felicity Forbes, who was violated with a stick before she was drowned. The herculean task of defending Felicity s killer, 12-year-old Daniel Blake, falls to attorney Leo Curtice, who, unsurprisingly, finds few who support his role in representing the boy. Curtice s wife naturally associates the dead girl with their 15-year-old daughter, whose classmates harass her at school because of the murder case. Not even the defendant s mother and stepfather are fully in Curtice s corner. Virtually alone, Curtice struggles to get the best possible result for a killer whose capacity to understand his evil is unclear. Lelic dares to make his lead less than an Atticus Finch (Curtice views the case as a career booster), and the plot unfolds in a way few readers will anticipate.
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