“Twenty three year old Catherine is mainly interested in Facebook and flirting, but she reluctantly takes a job at a local care home after her mother puts her foot down – and soon discovers that her new workplace contains many secrets.
One of the residents at the home, eighty two year old Rose, is convinced that something sinister is going on in Room 7 and that her own life is under threat. But Rose has dementia – so what does she actually know, and who would believe her anyway?
As Catherine starts investigating Rose’s allegations, terrible revelations surface about everyone involved. Can Catherine find out what’s really going on before it’s too late?”
Australian born author Helen Fitzgerald relocated to Glasgow, Scotland in 1991 and worked as a criminal justice social worker for over ten years. Since 2006 she has written a number of thrillers, including “Dead Lovely” , “My Last Confession” and “The Donor”. Her latest, published this year, is “The Exit”.
The central characters are Catherine Mann, a 23 year old who reluctantly takes a job at Dear Green, a local care home, and Rose Price, an 82 year old resident at the home.
Rose is the author and illustrator of a series of successful children’s books featuring the character of Tilly, based on events from her own life. Unfortunately she is also suffering from dementia and suffers from frequent episodes of reverting to her ten year old self.
Although Catherine wants to quit her job as soon as possible to go travelling, she finds herself being drawn in by some strange illustrations of Rose’s and her assertions that something bad is going on in the home. The problem is, with Rose suffering from dementia, Catherine doesn’t know what is true or who to trust. She discovers that the home’s logbook has strange entries, the owner of the home seems a little suspect, and the head nurse appears to have an nasty streak to her. Add in an ex-social worker, some strange residents and the attentions of her controlling mother and there’s a lot for Catherine to try to get to grips with.
This was something of a departure for me as a reader. There is no detective on the case, and being written around the experiences of two women gives it a different slant too – in fact I’ve seen it referred to as a cross between chick lit and crime fiction, which is probably a good description (although chick lit isn’t something that I am familiar with!).
Ultimately, though, what is important is the story and here Fitzgerald has come up with a clever plot, with a nasty secret to be uncovered, and at the same time created characters that have depth and make you genuinely interested in what happens to them. Great stuff!…