Completely Compelling Dystopia

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Being a fan of Deborah O'Connor I was bursting to read her latest offering and bloomin heck does this deliver!

Set in London in the near future the criminal justice system is radically reformed. The Government sees the prison system as an expensive failure in that criminals go on to re-offend more often than not. The new system sees the criminal put in a cage in the home of their victim for their full sentence. The victim is fully responsible for their welfare and is overseen by a DLO - Domestic Liaison Officer who comes to supervise certain things (such as shower) time a few times a week.

Hannah Cavey is tasked (in the name of justice) to house her husbands murderer - Jem Dahlin- in her kitchen. Unfortunately for Hannah she's a cake maker and needs to work in Jem's company in order to keep her head afloat. We learn of Jem's awful childhood and that his own starvation led him down the slippery slope of crime. However, he maintains that he didn't murder Hannah's husband. When he tells her things that ring true, Hannah starts down a path that will unravel her life as she tries to untangle the truth from the lies...

This book is a great way to start 2020! I was absolutely hooked. Hannah is such a likeable character and I was surprised to find myself liking Jem despite his faults. Hannah's support circle, however left a lot to be desired. Her late husband's work partner Rupert made my skin crawl and her best friend Aisling made me feel suspicious.

The notion of having to house a criminal in your home is utterly horrifying. Especially being that you would have been a victim of their crime. I can't imagine having to bear the burden (and steep penalty should you abuse your 'power'). Although this aspect of the plot is far fetched, it was utterly compelling. I don't want to give too much more away for fear of spoiling it for others, but I highly recommend this book

A gripping 5 star read for me.