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Lilly Valentine Books In Order

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Publication Order of Lilly Valentine Books

The Lilly Valentine series is a series of novels by Helen Black a child lawyer cum author of crime fiction novels for children and young adults. Damaged Goods was the first novel that Black published in the series in 2008. With the first novel proving a highly popular mystery all over the world, the author wrote four more titles featuring Lilly Valentine as the lead character. The novels are influenced by the authors love for the blood and gore genre of writing having grown up reading Karin Slaughter, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and Mark Billingham. As a lawyer with a love for the law and a sense of justice for the weak, most of the Lilly Valentine series of novels are derived from the author’s daily work experiences. The chief protagonist of the series of novels is a child lawyer that unsurprising works in cases that involve children accused of ghastly murders. Unlike the usual cozy mystery that typically involves a protagonist that is an amateur sleuth, Lilly Valentine is a legal professional. She is lawyer that not only understands the legal consequences of children being falsely accused of crimes they are innocent of, but also feels a sense of responsibility to protect the children from injustice and harm. A tough talking lawyer, Valentine will do anything in her power to protect the children.

When we are first introduced to Lilly Valentine, she is a tough talking iron willed attorney with a heart of gold. She once had dreams of working in a big corporate office where she would take lucrative corporate cases. But after working for a few months in the job she discovered that she did not like it and quit so that she could work in something she was passionate about – helping vulnerable children. She moved from her comfortable Yorkshire job and moved to a dingy office in Luton to become the legal representative of children in the social welfare system that nobody cared about. Lilly Valentine happens to be divorced and is bringing up her son Sam on her own. Always thinking the best of everyone, she often finds that she is the only one who has faith in the innocence or the good of the children that she represents. The range of cases that Lilly finds herself involved in varying from; threat to the welfare of the child to threats to her life or that of the children she represents. Even though she bumbles through life, most often with a chocolate or two in her hand, she has an excellent legal mind that can deal with anything from gang violence, pedophilia, child pornography, murder and anything in between with finesse. What makes Lilly Valentine such a memorable, gripping character that is also a great success, is her willingness to wade into a dangerous world to fight for those that cannot fight for themselves.

The Lilly Valentine series of novels are easy to read gritty novels with plenty of drama that make them quite interesting reads. With a strong-willed and lovable character, they deal with some very serious issues while still remaining interesting enough with the use of quirky secondary characters that interact with Lilly throughout the novels. Keeping the reader guessing is one of the best things that Helen Black knows how to do, and she does this perfectly in the novels. With a narrative that weaves in and out with characters coming and going , it is almost impossible to predict the resolution and ending of the stories. But they always provide just enough important information through circumstantial evidence and motive, which often turn out to be red herrings before the explosive reveal at the end of the novels. In addition to being entertaining novels, the series is also a great social commentary on the social care system, education, inner city life, and single motherhood. Even as the series deals with many hot button issues, the stories do not come across as preachy. Conversely, Lilly Valentine, who is the vehicle for the exposition of these themes makes one stop and think about the plight of vulnerable children who have no one to take care of them.

Damaged Goods the first novel of the Lily Valentine series opens to a 14-year girl abandoned together with her siblings in social care. Now just another faceless child in the faceless care system she is facing the hardest time of her young life. The harsh regime at the care home ultimately leads her to attempt suicide. Though she survives it, the ordeal leaves her mute and horrifically scarred. But things only get worse for the teenager, when her mother a notorious heroin addict and prostitute turns up dead, apparently the victim of a horrific murder that has every hallmark of a revenge killing. All suspicion is on her daughter Kelsey, believed to be angry at her mother for abandoning her in care. It is now up to Lilly Valentine, the tough talking new lawyer in town Lilly Valentine to help Kelsey escape the clutches of the cold system. Lilly has left a comfortable corporate job in Yorkshire and moved to Luton town determined to help vulnerable children with legal representation. Venturing into a city full of child pornography, blackmail, drugs, and prostitution, she is determined to prove that Kelsey is innocent even if she risks her life in the attempt.

Place of Safety is the second novel in the Lilly Valentine series of novels. The novel follows the story of a young asylum seeker who is raped at the Hounds Place Hostel in Bedfordshire. The quest for justice for Anna the 14-year old’s attackers is one of the most challenging of cases that Lilly has ever handled in her child lawyering career. Anna had met three public school boys that had proceeded to horrifically assault her. Artan her best friend and fellow asylum seeker sought out Lilly to assist in bringing the boys to book. But given that they are asylum seekers, Valentine warns them that they may not win the case in court as it would be their word against that of privileged English boys. Never one to give up on a quest for justice she takes up the case, only for the two girls to complicate it further. Having told them of the hopelessness of their case, they take matters into their own hands, when they turn up with guns at the school determined to mete out punishment on their own terms. It gets even worse when the community and the press learn that she had taken on the case. Her family is now the target of a huge backlash form a community that feels betrayed. She is torn between defending a defenseless girl that had been unjustly attacked and the welfare of her family, which is sure to be threatened if she insists on representing Anna.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Lilly Valentine

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