Helen FitzGerald - Dead Lovely (3 stars)

Dead Lovely



Once I got beyond the fact that the murderer in this crime thriller-meets-chick lit novel resides on my Glasgow street, I found plenty to enjoy in Helen FitzGerald’s debut. Opening with Krissie’s confession that she’s cheated with her best friend’s husband and that Sarah is now lying dead by her hand on the West Highland Way, the plot proceeds in a ‘how did we get here?’ blurt of increasing hysteria. The emotion-wringing of strained marriage and baby envy are initially enlivened by Krissie’s cynical ‘to hell with the consequences’ approach to life.

Yet FitzGerald, writing with grim humour, has worked as a social worker and the penalties for various characters’ self-interests are exacted with apposite finality. Sporadically shifting first and third person narratives reinforce Krissie’s emotional disintegration and if structured and concluded a little too neatly, Dead Lovely is still a real page turner.

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