Worst Case Scenario by Helen Fitzgerald features one of the most original characters Auntie M has read in a long time.

Set in Glasgow, we meet Mary Shields, an overburdened probation officer whose job is almost impossible. It doesn’t help that Mary is burned out, missing her partner away in Australia, obsessing about her young adult son trying to find himself, and physically unwell. Everything affects her mood and then some.

And now Liam Macdowall is being released onto Mary’s care, after being imprisoned for murdering his wife. He’s published a book that contains a series of letters to the dead woman, and become the poster boy for Men’s Rights Activists.

It’s a case of instant dislike between Mary and Liam, especially when he flounts the rules of his probation, and in an unanticipated twist, her son and Liam’s daughter start a relationship. It’s enough to put a woman on edge, and with Mary already on edge, enough to topple her over.

It’s difficult to describe the plot without spoilers, but suffice it to say that this doesn’t end up where any reader thinks it will at first. There are moments of high humor contrasted with others of dark perception as the story plays out. Readers won’t be able to put it down.