Fifteen-year-old Tilly meets Sadie at a Young Offenders Institute and the two girls decide to live together on their release. Settling in a bedsit in Kent, they devote their energy to smoking, drinking and thieving. But when sinister landlady and social worker Lynda comes to take DNA swabs - purportedly for a major scientific investigation into the roots of criminal behaviour - their idyll is shattered. For a joke, Tilly swaps the samples round, setting in motion a gripping story of mistaken identity and corporate malice.
Set in a Britain not too different from the one we know and filled with shoplifting, shadowy revolutionaries, alcopops, sperm banks, genetics, the agonies of adolescence and a lot of cigarettes, The Heritage is a funny, gritty, strange and moving exploration of love, friendship and identity from a truly singular imagination.
Will Ashon runs the record company Big Dadda Recordings. Clear Water was his first novel.