Helen Black

hard as nails cover


playing dirty cover


bang to rights cover


taking liberties cover


friendless lane cover


dark spaces cover


twenty twelve cover


blood rush cover


Liberty Chapman series - reading order

Taking Liberties
Bang to Rights
Playing Dirty
Hard as Nails

Lilly Valentine series - reading order

Damaged Goods
Place of Safety
Blood Rush
Dark Spaces
Friendless Lane

Other Helen Black books

Twenty Twelve

Praise for Helen Black's first
novel Damaged Goods:

"A dark and gripping read that will have you on the edge of your seat...this terrific debut novel is full of intrigue and a real page turner."
Closer magazine

"A fantastic first novel...a modern day cluedo that keeps you guessing right til the end."
Jane Elliot, author of
'The Little Prisoner and Sadie'

Questions and Answers

Q: Damaged Goods deals with some very strong issues. Did you draw on your experiences as a child care lawyer for the detail?

A: Over the years I've come across every kind of abuse and although I didn't use any specific cases I did plunder my own feelings about the children involved to try to get across how horrific some of their lives can be.

A:You certainly do that. Was it depressing to write?

Q: Not at all. I wanted to raise some serious issues within a great story so I tried to make all my characters memorable. None of them are just victims of their sad existence.

Q: Your main character, Lilly Valentine, is very believable. How autobiographical is she?

A: Well we're both feisty northerners and both love to cook, but I try not to get into as many scrapes as she does.

Q: Surely Damaged Goods won't be the last we'll hear of her?

A: When I created her I never dreamed she'd be so well received but the first thing my agent said was I had to write more and my publishers here in the UK and abroad all want a series.

Q: Do you feel constrained by having to bring her back again and again?

A: Certainly not yet. My second book, Place of Safety, takes Lilly's story forward and I already know what she's going to be up to in book three.

Q: Aren't you tempted to create someone fresh?

A: Each book has lots of new characters so I do that all the time. In Damaged Goods I loved writing Barrows the paedophile and in Place of Safety I had great fun with Caz, a homeless teenager - she has some great lines.

Q : There's a lot of humour in your work. How hard do you find it to slot it in amongst the dark stuff?

A: Not hard at all. I'm a working class northerner - we laugh at everything, especially ourselves.