Trish Maguire made her name as an advocate for children, practicing the British version of family law her entire career (Fault Lines, 2000). Now, approaching emotional burnout, she eagerly accepts the chance to help defend a charming, heretofore successful City financier, Nick Gurles. Crunching Nick’s complex numbers, Trish is beginning to regret her decision when two things undermine her confidence even further: an unexpected pregnancy ends in miscarriage, and an eight-year-old boy with her name sewn on his coat is run over in front of her flat. Recovering in the hospital, the boy refuses to answer any questions except to say that his name is David and his missing mother sent him to find Trish, who’s never seen him before. The police don’t buy her story, especially because David and Trish bear a noticeable resemblance. Trish knows David can’t be her child, but what about her charismatic, long-absent father, Paddy? When Trish questions him about his eight-year-old memories, Paddy answers indignantly in a stage brogue but eventually surrenders the name of Sylvia Bantell, who’s only too happy to reveal the contents of an old private detective’s report. Paddy had been cheating on Sylvia with another woman, Jeannie Nest, who lived in a dangerous housing project only a few blocks from Trish. In attempting now to trace Jeannie, she inadvertently lances some festering old grudges.
A suspenseful, literate outing notable for its adept interweaving of three families, including Trish’s own, marked by violence and courage.