Maureen O'Donnell, ex-psychiatric patient and survivor of sexual abuse, is facing the darkest episode in her life. Her abuser has arrived back in Glasgow in time for the birth of her sister's new baby; she owes more than she makes in a year in back taxes; and Angus Farrell, the psychologist who murdered her boyfriend is up for trial, with Maureen as the reluctant star witness. On top of it all, she has managed to become embroiled in someone else's family feud. Ella McGee, an elderly stall holder at the flea market where Maureen and Leslie are selling illegally imported cigarettes, is bringing a case against her son in the small claims court. When Ella dies in hospital after a brutal beating Maureen, who identifies all too readily with the underdogs of this world, can't stop herself from becoming involved. Soon Maureen too is under threat, and this time she has very few protectors.
Denise Mina was born in 1966 in Glasgow. She worked as an auxiliary nurse in geriatric and terminal care nursing homes before studying law at Glasgow University. As an academic researcher she has written extensively on the medicalization of deviant women, and until recently she taught Criminology and Criminal Law. She lives in Glasgow, where she now writes full time. She is the author of three novels, Garnethill, which won the John Creasey Award for Best First Crime Novel, Exile, and Resolution.