Worst Case Scenario by Helen Fitzgerald – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Mary Shields is a moody, acerbic probation offer, dealing with some of Glasgow’s worst cases, and her job is on the line. Liam Macdowall was imprisoned for murdering his wife, and he’s published a series of letters to the dead woman, in a book that makes him an unlikely hero – and a poster boy for Men’s Rights activists.

Liam is released on licence into Mary’s care, but things are far from simple. Mary develops a poisonous obsession with Liam and his world, and when her son and Liam’s daughter form a relationship, Mary will stop at nothing to impose her own brand of justice … with devastating consequences.

My Review

Mary is a social worker. She has no patience for all the red tape, the rules and the meaningless acronyms. She is also a bit of a loose cannon and many of her actions are increasingly bizarre due to going though the menopause. She has decided to leave the job that she has done for years but she has one last client and this client and his friends are causing her a lot of problems.

I don’t think she was a bad person, it became evident very early on that there were many people that she tried to do her best for. She appeared to be a good judge of character, wouldn’t suffer fools and the people who she felt deserved a bit of sympathy she would help in any way she could. It was these times when you saw the real Mary, the Mary who cared, the Mary who kept in touch with ex clients and their families years after she needed to. But she was also irrational, a loose cannon who was at the end of her tether with everything that was happening in her personal and professional life. And her life is about to get worse.

There are many believable situations. The clients who if you could, you would go out of your way to avoid. Knowing what they had done and having to put personal feelings to one side. The rules and regulations that are ruining many professions and the bosses who were unsuitable for the job. 

There were times when I was reading this book that I was crying laughing. I am one of those people who make no sense when I am trying to explain to others what I am finding so amusing. The usual response is a baffled look and silence. There will be many women who could understand everything that Mary was going through and will love every page of this novel. There will be a handful of younger ones who don’t know what they face later in life. Fully expecting, as one character says for a cure to be found.

It’s a very funny, quick novel that if you don’t mind a bit of bad language you will love.



Viral by Helen Fitzgerald

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So far, twenty-three thousand and ninety six people have seen me online. They include my mother, my father, my little sister, my grandmother, my other grandmother, my grandfather, my boss, my sixth year Biology teacher and my boyfriend James.
When Leah and her adopted sister Su go on holiday together to Magaluf to celebrate their A-levels, only Leah returns home. Her successful, swotty sister remains abroad, humiliated and afraid: there is an online video of her, drunkenly performing a sex act in a nightclub. And everyone has seen it.

Ruth Oliphant Brotheridge,mother of the girls, successful court judge, is furious. How could this have happened? How can she bring justice to these men who took advantage of her dutiful, virginal daughter? What role has Leah played in all this? And can Ruth find Su and bring her back home when Su doesn’t want to be found?

My thoughts:
I first became aware of Viral when the opening line went ‘viral’ on social media. Reminiscent of headlines in the UK press a few years ago it tells a tale of how an all girls holiday to Magaluf was ruined by alcohol and drugs. And other people.
Su had never wanted to go on the holiday but was forced into it. She was the sensible one who would be able to make Leah behave. She gave in hoping that that the holiday would help repair the relationship, they had been very close when they were younger but now she felt that Leah resented her. At first she quite enjoyed it, amazed by the length of time it took to get ready for the pool and getting to know Leah’s friends.
Su’s life changed completely after the video was released on the Internet. She went into hiding and tried to accept what has happened and the consequences on her life. She decided to try and make contact with her birth mother, something she had thought about doing before. Meanwhile Leah was trying to repair the damage and find her, along with their monster of a mother Ruth.
Whilst I liked and a had a lot of sympathy for Su, I found Leah easier to like. I loved her humour and the way that she handled Ruth, a woman it is impossible to say anything nice about.
I found it to be quite a refreshing read. It was sad at times but there was also humour. It’s a horrifying storyline, but it felt very real. It’s one that seems to rear its ugly head every summer, watching how a handful of teenagers behave on holiday and it ends up being headline news.