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I knew I had to read this, Deborah O'Connor's latest psychological thriller set in a near-future London, after reading her impressive and memorable The Dangerous Kind. The government has cynically shut down the costly prison system that failed to reduce crime in favour of the less expensive restorative justice system, which places the criminal in a cage in the victim's home for the duration of their sentence, with the victim now responsible for their welfare and overseen by visits from a Domestic Liaison Officer (DLO). The notion is that by viewing the impact of their crime up close, the culprit would realise their wrong. John Cavey, a police officer, was assassinated by 28-year-old Hannah Cavey, a cake maker and widow.

The basic concept of O'Connor's novel is a restorative justice system in which victims are compelled to live alongside individuals who may have perpetrated the most terrible acts of crime against them. There are inherent problems with such a concept, which necessitates a suspension of disbelief, but the concept is usefully explored in detail and insightfully, with all its attendant horrors, such as rape victims having to live with the terrors of having the perpetrator in their home, and revenge victims being given the opportunity to abuse and potentially kill the perpetrator. Hannah and the damaged Jem with his criminal impulses are great characters in this fascinating, thought-provoking, dark and powerful crime novel. This is a fantastic psychological thriller.