Ellie Quicke (Murder With Mercy, 2013, etc.) fights to preserve her do-it-yourself family.
Vera’s finally gotten her life on track. After years of working as Ellie’s house cleaner, she’s enrolled in college. Her difficult son, Mikey, has a scholarship to one of the top schools in London. Vera’s still living in Ellie’s house, where she helps care for Rose, Ellie’s aging housekeeper. The last thing she needs is to have Mikey’s father, Abdi, a wealthy Somalian, back in her life. Unfortunately, that’s what she gets. Since he has no children of his own, Abdi comes back to take Mikey away and make him his heir. Vera has other ideas. To force her hand, Abdi claims to have evidence that Vera is responsible for the murder of her former boyfriend’s father. If she doesn’t turn over the boy, he’ll turn the evidence over to the police. To help Vera, Ellie tries to find the real killer and, in doing so, kicks a hornet’s nest. The night Dr. McKenzie was killed was also the night Mikey was conceived, after someone passed a doctored drink to Vera and she was raped by several of her schoolmates, including Abdi. Vera and Dan McKenzie broke up, even though he wasn’t involved in the rape. Now Ellie’s investigation reopens Vera and Dan’s old wounds. It also threatens the domestic tranquility of the remaining rapists. Raff Scott was killed in Afghanistan, but Jack the Lad owns a successful music shop, and Simon Trubody is thinking of standing for Parliament. With so many ranked against her, how can Ellie possibly prevail?
Improbabilities aside—would a British solicitor really put in writing an offer to withhold evidence from the police?—Ellie’s latest outing turns out to be a tempest in a teapot.