There are two sides to every crime …
Returning home to care for her ill mother, and approaching her fortieth birthday, Natalie Bach is devastated when she’s dumped without explanation by her long-term boyfriend.
Struggling to pick herself up, she’s offered her old job at Goldman Law. Jack Goldman’s estranged son Julian has been arrested for attempted murder and he wants Natalie to find out why.
With the help of fellow solicitor Gavin Savage, Natalie sets out to investigate, but with a series of red herrings ahead, will she ever discover the truth?
And can Natalie avoid her personal problems interfering with the case?
Natalie Bach is nearly 40 and a solicitor. After her mum, Anna, has a bad stroke, she heads back home to Manchester to look after her. For the past five years, she’s been living in Mallorca and running a bar with her boyfriend, Jose Harrow, who’d been pursuing her since law school but, soon after she leaves, he splits up with Natalie via phone and tells her he no longer loves her. Shell shocked, she accepts the offer of her old job back at Goldman Law, and is thrown straightaway into a lot of complicated cases, which help her to take her mind off the break up.
For Natalie, she is returning home and she reconnects with her old boss, Jack Goldman, and her replacement and now partner at the firm, Wesley Hughes, and duty solicitor, Gavin Savage, both of whom she also met at Chester Law College. Everyone is glad to see her back and it’s almost like she’s never been away. Natalie, though, feels that everyone has moved on; she’s now single, childless and back at home in Cheadle village living with her mum, who is recovering well, and borrowing her old ‘turquoise’ Ford Ka to get around.
On her first day, Jack Goldman asks her to investigate his estranged son, Julian, who has been arrested for assault on his pregnant girlfriend, Aisha. The pair fell out after Jack divorced Julian’s mum and then almost immediately married his mistress, Catherine, the managing partner at his firm. The case is rather complicated and things get worse when Julian is then accused of attempted murder.
Natalie is still mourning her relationship with Jose at the beginning of the story and wants answers. She’s desperate to hear from him and shocked that he could end her relationship so callously and then change his number in response to her pleading text and calls.
Since returning to Goldman Law, Natalie hasn’t had much contact with Wesley apart from him making her audit files and she also intervenes and keeps a client, Brian Selby, happy when he was threatening to sack the firm after an error. At a 50th birthday party for Catherine at a new hotel, she has a proper catch up with Wesley but he has to take her home in a taxi after she drinks too much!
Wesley is married to Andrea, who he met at university in Sheffield, and they have twin sons, Matty and Dylan, aged 18, who have both just started at the same university their parents went to, and have a rather eventful Fresher’s week!
The book has a great cast of characters, who all seem to have rather complicated lives, including Natalie herself! There’s a lot of chemistry and past history with Wesley but the circumstances aren’t ideal! Her Polish mum, Anna, is lovely and caring and I enjoyed getting to know her. Natalie has a good rapport with Jack and Gavin, as well as bench boy, Max, and CPS solicitor, Joshim Khan, who she also knows from law school, and it’s fun to see her banter and relationships with them.
There are several plotlines in this intriguing and action-packed novel but I managed to keep track of who was who and remember the different cases. I assume this is characteristic of all the cases that a solicitor would handle in their line of work; juggling lots of information and details, and having contact with numerous people.
There were some good twists and turns in Convictions and I was surprised by some of the incidents that happened; it was certainly a shocking and eventful read! There were some underhand goings on and people definitely not behaving well, either professionally or personally!
Overall, I really enjoyed this cleverly plotted and well-layered story. It flowed well and was an absorbing read and an interesting start to the series. I look forward to reading the next novel, Confessions, and finding out more about Natalie and her life, and seeing how her character develops.
Buy the book
Convictions by Caro Land can be purchased from Amazon on Kindle and in paperback.
About the author
Caro Land is the pen name of Caroline England. This book, the first in the Natalie Bach legal suspense series, was published by Bloodhound Books in January 2020. The follow up, Confessions, was published on 10 June 2020.
Born in Sheffield, Caroline studied Law at the University of Manchester and stayed over the border. Caroline was a divorce and professional indemnity lawyer. She turned to writing when she deserted the law to bring up her three lovely daughters. Caroline has had short stories and poems published in a variety of literary publications and anthologies.
Caroline writes domestic psychological thrillers. Her debut novel, Beneath the Skin, known also as The Wife’s Secret in eBook, was published by Avon HarperCollins in October 2017. Her second novel, My Husband’s Lies, followed in May 2018 and became a Kindle top 10 bestseller. Her latest novel, Betray Her, published by Piatkus of Little, Brown Book Group, is now available as an eBook, audiobook and paperback.
Caroline also has two dark, twisty short story collections available on Amazon, both in eBook and paperback, Watching Horsepats Feed the Roses and Hanged by the Neck.