After the death of his wealthy father in a car crash, Seán Murtagh flies home to Wicklow for the funeral. There he is stunned to discover that his father's will disinherits his family and leaves everything including the family home to a secret son, Andrew Shaw.
The news fills the Shaw family with hope. Twenty-year-old Andrew is in desperate need of a kidney transplant, and for him the inheritance may mean the difference between life and death. However, the lives of Andrew, his devoted older sister Tors and young brother Jack are disrupted when their mother insists they move from their home in Kerry to Wicklow to stake their claim under the will.
There they live in a tiny bungalow on the sea front, while the Murtaghs take steps to contest the will. Gradually, both Seán Murtagh and Tors Shaw recognise the need to seek some middle ground but that seems impossible, such is the hostility between the families and the burning resentment that exists between the mothers. Andrew Shaw's focus, however, is not on the question of the inheritance. There is something else he needs from the Murtaghs . . . something only they can give him . . .
Last month I did a debut spotlight feature on Jennifer Burke who won TV3's Write a Bestseller competition which saw her win a publishing deal with Poolbeg Press. As a thank you Jennifer kindly sent me a copy of her debut book The Secret Son.
When Liam Murtagh is killed in a car accident his death causes two families world's to collide in the most unexpected of ways. The reading of his will brings shocking news for his wife Glenda, son Sean and daughters Niamh, Katie and Lizzie that his whole estate has been left to another son Andrew Shaw that none of them knew about.
Karen Shaw is equally stunned to hear the news that Liam, with whom she'd had a one-night stand, had left everything to her son Andrew, who is desperately ill and in need of a lifesaving kidney transplant. She decides that this could be Andrew's best hope so sets out to move the whole family, daughter Victoria, Andrew and young son Jack to Wicklow to claim Andrew's inheritance.
The Secret Son was a brilliant read from start to finish which had me hooked with its twists and turns throughout. I had to keep reading to discover how both families would react to the details of the will, the legalities of the will and whether or not the Murtagh's would contest it, but more importantly how would they react when they finally meet face to face when there's so much animosity between them?
This was a gripping read with a completely unexpected ending, it's hard to believe that this is Jennifer's debut novel so I cannot wait to hear what she has in store for us next.