Worst Case Scenario is the latest outing from the bestselling author Helen Fitzgerald. She has managed to conquer the disadvantages in life, being an Aussie, sentenced to live in Glasgow, with her husband, even I am not the cruel. Her wonderful sense of humour screams at you throughout this deliciously dark and funny thriller. The dark humour screams the dark truths at you and sometimes it is those truths we cannot bare to look at.

Mary Shields is a probation officer with over thirty years of experience, she gets to deal with the ‘dregs’ of society and, in her case, the worst cases. She is getting hot flushes, possibly the menopause, the wine drinking, over worked and completely dysfunctional in work and in her private life.

When murderer Liam Mcdowall is set to be released on life licence, she is going to be his probation officer. So, when he is released, she will be the first person he sees, whatever he wants to do he has to ask her permission. Things are made slightly harder by the fact that he has published a series of letters to the wife he murdered. The book has made him a hero, especially to Men’s Rights Activists.

Things do not go well from the moment she meets him in prison for the last time before his release, when she meets Derek his agent, and his daughter Holly. Mary’s son falls in love/lust with Holly and the feelings are returned when they meet at an author event. Mcdowall misses his probation meetings and sends Mary after him and breach him as it is a contravention of his licence.

Mcdowall’s agent also has his problems with the law and decides to take Mary on, and there can only be one winner. At the same time, Mary decides to take the law in to her own hands as she wants to dish out the justice which the system clearly failed to deliver. What could possibly go wrong? Well, besides the hot sweats, the drinking and the world being out to prove that Mary is a man hater?

While at times dark, the humour shines a light into the darkness, and while you cannot but have sympathy with Mary, she is a walking disaster area. Can Mary do what every probation officer has probably wanted to do, and keep her job, while flexitime really is getting on her nerves?

A fantastic dark and funny thriller that really does as the old cliché says, it is a page turner!

Paul Diggett 5/5

Worst Case Scenario by Helen Fitzgerald
Orenda Books 9781912374694 pbk May 2019