When the world has failed you, you need a place of safety…Hard-hitting crime from the author of Damaged Goods.
The rape of a young asylum seeker plunges family care lawyer Lilly Valentine into the toughest case of her life.
14-year-old Anna lives in Hounds Place, a hostel in Bedfordshire for youngsters seeking refuge from the atrocities being carried out in their homelands. A chance meeting with three public schoolboys ends in her being horrifically assaulted. When Artan, Anna's friend and a fellow asylum seeker, approaches Lilly about seeking justice through the courts she warns him that the law may not be on their side. Who will believe the words of an asylum seeker over the account of three privileged English boys? Despite this, Lilly is loath to get involved. After all, she is supposed to be putting her family and work commitments first.
But Lilly quickly lives to regret that decision when Artan and Anna turn up at a school armed with guns, determined to take matters into their own hands. The day turns to tragedy and Anna is arrested. Wracked with guilt, Lilly is compelled to take on Anna's case despite the objections of her boyfriend Jack, boss, and most importantly, her own son Sam - a pupil at the school.
Her decision to defend Anna attracts a huge backlash from the press and the community. And when local racist groups pick up on the story, Lilly's family and friends become a target. Can Lilly follow her conscience and defend Anna - or is this case just too close to home?
Praise for Damaged Goods:
‘A fantastic first novel.’
Jane Elliott, bestselling author of The Little Prisoner and Sadie
‘A dark and gripping read that will have you on the edge of your seat … this terrific debut novel is full of intrigue and a real page-turner.’
About the author
Helen Black was brought up in a mining town in West Yorkshire. She moved to London in her twenties and trained to be a commercial lawyer. On qualification she shifted lanes and has practised criminal and family law for over ten years. She specialises in representing children in the care system. She now lives in Bedfordshire with her husband and young children.