It is every parent’s worst nightmare, their child being murdered, yet for Marcia and husband Lloydie, whose 16-year-old son, Ryan, was stabbed to death, it is the reality that now governs their lives.
And the trial of the boy accused of murdering their son is just about to begin. Whilst Lloydie turns his back on what is happening, Marcia is determined to be there throughout, in the hope of finding some understanding as to why the accused, Tyson Manley, took the life of her beloved son.
Former Man Booker Prize longlisted author Yvette Edwards crafts a wonderfully vivid and arresting portrait of a mother facing up to the ultimate horror and doing so with dignity and bravery.
The narrative is insular and tense, and like the trial itself, a crucible of charged emotions. Whilst the charting of the trial threatens to become formulaic, Edwards keeps the action ticking over with a poignant depiction of Marcia and Lloydie’s relationship and a compelling portrait of the girl at the heart of the story – Sweetie.
The conclusion comes swiftly and neatly, but pertinent questions over parental and social responsibility and the disenfranchisement of young, disadvantaged people, reverberate beyond the pages of the book.
Published by Mantle priced £14.99. Jade Craddock