Helen Fitzgerald: My Last Confession (4 stars)

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Helen Fitzgerald: My Last Confession

Glasgow-based Aussie writer Helen Fitzgerald likes to walk a high-wire in her fiction, balancing between the two disparate genres of intelligent chick-lit and dark, violent noir crime writing. In lesser hands it could be a mess, but Fitzgerald always seems to pull it off, this third novel being the equal of her scintillating previous two works.

Krissie is a parole officer, struggling with a fraught family life while also getting too involved in the case of one of her clients, Jeremy. Stylistically, and in terms of plot, Fitzgerald excels at jarring the reader out of complacency, switching from first to third person, cutting from chat about relationships to a violent prison rape, twisting the reader’s expectations and turning our assumptions on their heads. As Krissie gets deeper in trouble at home and work, the pace is relentless, leading to a climax as shocking as it is emotionally satisfying.

(Faber)

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