In 1980s Dublin, Lydia Fitzsimons seems to have the perfect life—wife of Andrew, a respected judge, and mistress of Avalon. Her pride and joy, however, is her only child, her son Laurence, to whom she is utterly, obsessively devoted.
But her husband's murder of Annie Doyle, accidental or not, sets into motion a dark downward spiral.
When Annie threatens blackmail...Andrew Fitzsimons and his wife, Lydia decide to kill her. Lydia orders Andrew to bury the body in their garden and forget it, but then Annie’s family reports her missing and a media circus ensues. Andrew panics, arousing the suspicion of the couple’s 17-year-old son, Laurence ... This tragic tale unfolds over five years from the perspectives of Lydia, Laurence, and Karen ... The result is an exquisitely uncomfortable, utterly captivating reading experience.
'My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it' ... On the surface, Lydia Fitzsimons has the perfect life—wife of a respected, successful judge, mother to a beloved son, mistress of a beautiful house in Dublin. That beautiful house, however, holds a secret ... and when Lydia’s son, Laurence, discovers its secret, wheels are set in motion that lead to an increasingly claustrophobic and devastatingly dark climax.
22-year-old Annie Doyle's life ends on a Dublin beach at the hands of Lydia and Andrew Fitzsimons...Lydia doesn’t feel at all bad about the deed: 'I like to think I did the girl a kindness, like putting an injured bird out of its misery. She did not deserve such kindness.' ... Lydia's overweight and bullied child Lawerence...soon suspects one or both his parents had a hand in Annie’s death ...This is a whydunit, not a whodunit, and the real meat lies in Nugent’s exploration of motherhood, mental illness, and what could drive a person to murder, told through first-person accounts from Lydia, Karen, and Laurence ... A page-turner chock full of lies and betrayals and a very creepy mother-son relationship.