Lindy Bellows is fifteen and has a car-wreck of a family. Her two older brothers are at a Young Offenders Institution and since her baby sister, Jemma, died of meningitis five months ago her parents have been no use to anyone. Lindy is plagued by guilt, blaming herself for Jemma's tragic death as she tries to take care of her younger brother, Sean, and hold her dysfunctional family together.
Constantly teased at school by posh girl Jess who calls her 'Benefits Bellows,' Lindy is in turmoil and although she seems hard on the outside, she is hiding more than just emotional scars. When she lands a job working for her cousin, Colin, she soon finds herself caught up in his criminal activities. Lindy is in trouble. She longs for her older brother Garth and ex-boyfriend Liam to rescue her until she encounters Karl, a mute who is labelled a 'retard' at school. Could he be Lindy's unlikely saviour or will she be dragged deeper into Colin's illegal world of crime and drugs?
This second instalment in Halahmy's south coast cycle, cleverly uses the major characters from Hidden in the guise of minor characters in this book, giving Lindy Bellows, the bully from book one, an opportunity to tell her side of the story.
I really loved Hidden and I'm glad to say that Halahmy retains all the atmosphere, realism and conflict of that first instalment in this impressive follow-up.
Illegal is always entertaining, insightful and unflinching.