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by Natasha Cooper
Pocket, May 2008
336 pages
6.99 GBP
ISBN: 0743495322

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

When Sam Foundling was a child, Trish Maguire acted for him and forever afterward, he has regarded her as someone special, someone with whom he has a unique bond. When he comes to see her to ask her to investigate the claim of a woman in prison that she is his mother, she is ashamed at having lost touch with him. He had been brutally abused when he was young but that now he is a successful, sought-after sculptor, there is always the thought that someone might falsely claim a relationship, in the hope of sharing his prosperity.

Sam soon has more than a possible mother to worry him. His heavily pregnant wife, Cecilia, is murdered. The baby, subsequently named Felicity, is rescued, but Sam, who is known to have a violent temper, is suspected of killing Cecilia so Trish is called upon to act for him, despite Cecilia's having been one of her friends. To make the situation even more complicated, Cecilia is the daughter of a judge, one who has never disclosed to her daughter the identity of her father.

Trish is subject to a conflict of interest in the case. Her best friend, Chief Inspector Caroline Lyalt of the Metropolitan Police is investigating and, to her mind, Sam Foundling is the only possible suspect. The case builds barriers between the two friends and both feel a degree of embarrassment which has never before existed. Caro is unable to give even a hint of privileged information to Trish, and Trish is frustratingly unable to convey her own feelings about Samís innocence to her friend.

I really enjoyed Cooperís style of writing. The prose is clear, the plotting good, and the characterisation strong. If Cooper writes another novel in which both Maguire and Lyalt feature, it will be interesting to see if the author makes an attempt to paper over the cracks in the friendship, or if the friendship will resume as though the incidents in A GREATER EVIL had never occurred.

Reviewed by Denise Pickles, May 2008

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