What they say: When Abby Jones, a young nanny from Corham, a small town south-east of Boston, is accused of fatally harming an infant in her care, defence attorney Heather Baxter fights to prove her innocence.
Heather, from the same small town, knows the case is not as clear-cut as the Assistant District Attorney claims and, with media attention focused on the trial and Corham, the stakes couldn’t be higher.
But when Heather digs deeper, the shadows of her own past, and her mother’s unsolved murder twenty-five years earlier, begin to surface with deadly consequences…
The Review: I used to live for John Grisham’s novel back in the day and, funnily enough, my standout memory of the courtroom legal reads was that my reading of two of his books were at the same time as the Louise Woodward case, the case of a British Nanny accused of shaking a baby to death. I remember joining my dad to watch it daily on Sky News as he shook his head and sighed constantly. I’d love to ask him about it now, because as a parent it must have made for very different viewing to mine, me being a teen, both innocent and ignorant of a lot of things relating the case I’d assume.
Anyhoo, when I heard of this book, and not only heard a number of exceptional reviews, but also realised they were from Louise Philips, someone whose crime writing course I’ve dreamed of taking for many years now after a one hour creative writing class by her proved to be a game changer, I’ll tell you I leapt, thrilled.
This is the story of Heather Baxter, who ran far away from the town of Corham after a high profile case involving her family. Armed with memories that are surfacing incrementally, she takes on the case of Abby, who’s accused of murdering baby Jacob. You would imagine your aim in this book to find out if she did it, but actually it becomes as much about Heather’ s past being pieced together, and Corham still isn’t safe. The settings in this were vivid, cinematic even, and I followed, spellbound, from courtroom to Corham in the everyday sense, then through her memories and the haunting tellings of her mother, recounting both devastating and shocking events. If you like legal thrillers I would say this is your holiday/beach/sick day read, one where your eyes savour every single word and your breath is taken away at various intervals. Thanks to Hatchette for the book in return for an honest review.