Helen Black books in order
Helen Black is a British author of mystery and thriller novels.
A native of Pontefract, England, she attended Hull University where she earned a degree in law.
Although she went on to work as a commercial lawyer for nearly ten years, Helen always knew that practicing law just wasn't the thing for her.
Her encounter with teenagers, more so those who needed legal advice and bus fares, saw her earn a loyal following.
One of the most commonly asked questions was whether Helen would still represent a client if she knew they were guilty.
That question helped inspire Helen’s debut novel Damaged Goods (2008), the first book in the Lilly Valentine Series.
Helen currently lives with her long-suffering husband, who is a lawyer, and her chaotic twins.
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
- Twenty Twelve (2012)
- Taking Liberties (2017)
- Bang to Rights (2019)
- Playing Dirty (2019)
- Hard as Nails (2021)
- Damaged Goods (2008)
- A Place of Safety (2008)
- Dishonour (2009)
- Blood Rush (2011)
- Dark Spaces (2013)
- Friendless Lane (2015)
Detailed book overview
As the UK struggles with a hopeless war in the Middle East, the worst recession in a hundred years and a fraud scandal which has rocked the government to its core, the Prime Minister is determined to host an unrivalled summer of sporting achievement at the London Olympics to propel the country into a new era.
Joe Moran, MP for Primrose Hill and keen long distance runner and sports fan, is among the many around the world eagerly anticipating the games and is delighted when he is asked to become minister for Sports and Heritage, heavily involved in the plans for the opening ceremony.
It beats the tedium of life in Westminster as even meetings are less boring when the subject matter is sport. Less boring that is, until the first bomb explodes... and MI5 uncover a plot to kill thousands of people while the world watches on television.
First Release: 2012
Liberty Chapman had a difficult childhood. The oldest of four kids, she tried to protect them from their violent father until one day he murdered their mother and got sent down.
What was left of the family rattled through the care system, bouncing from foster placement to care home. Liberty would have probably ended up on drugs, or dead, or worse if it hadn't been for a ballsy solicitor who told her to get her act together.So that's what she did. She kept her nose clean, got an education.
And look at her now. New name, new accent, new town. The past is far behind her and she's concentrating on her own legal career. She has a Porsche, a house in Hampstead... and then one morning her boss asks her to do a favor. He wants her to go to Leeds, to get an important client's son off an assault charge.
But Leeds is in Liberty's past. And once she hits town, the past slaps her in the face... and pulls her back into what she worked so hard to leave behind.
First Release: 2017
One year on from being reunited with the family she abandoned, successful lawyer Liberty Chapman is still in Leeds - although she has stayed well away from the Greenwood's business activities. Their criminal life style may not sit right with Liberty, but blood is thicker than water and surely what they do is their business not hers?
But when her youngest brother, Frankie, is seriously injured in a shooting, Liberty is forced to decide which side she is on and how far she will go to protect her own. And if that means torturing the local gangster for information or kidnapping another at gun point, then so be it. Turns out Liberty is a Greenwood after all.
Meanwhile, PC Amira Hassani will do whatever it takes to put Liberty and her family away for good, and if that includes blackmailing her colleague Sol Connolly to secure evidence against them, then so be it too. Will Sol betray Liberty to protect his wife and his career? And how far will any of them go to do what they think is right?
First Release: 2019
County lines. Blurred lines. Crossed lines.
Things are looking up for Liberty Greenwood. She's brokered a deal with the local rival gangster and it looks like the police have finally stopped investigating her. She even has a plan to steer her family away from their criminal activities.
But when a spate of violence on the estates points to a hostile takeover bid from a crew from out of the area, Liberty is forced to take decisive and dangerous action - action which ends up with her doing a stint in prison.
Meanwhile, Liberty's partner, ex-copper Sol Connolly is recruited to join an off-the-books team who will stop at nothing to infiltrate the new drugs gang, hellbent on sending kids 'up county.'
As Liberty and Sol attack the same problem from different angles, who will give out first? And how many people will have to get hurt as they fight for what they each believe in?
First Release: 2019
Four months have passed since the shocking death of Frankie Greenwood, but Liberty Greenwood has managed to keep the rest of her family safe and expand their criminal empire.
But when Liberty and Jay set out to teach a protection racketeer a lesson things get out of hand and the Greenwoods soon find themselves under attack: the Black Cherry is fire bombed and Crystal is arrested.
Liberty must hold her nerve, make alliances with old enemies and discover exactly who is trying to destroy her. But that's easier said than done with Sol back on the scene, Crystal's baby to care for and DI Angel holding enough information on Liberty to put her away for good. Is Liberty Greenwood hard enough?
First Release: 2021
A daughter accused of murder. And unable to defend herself… A dark, gritty thriller, perfect for fans of Kimberley Chambers and Jessie Keane.
When a prostitute is found butchered on a notorious Luton council estate, the finger is immediately pointed. The prime suspect? Her 14-year-old daughter, Kelsey.
But Kelsey is unable to defend herself. After an attempt to take her own life, Kelsey has been left horrifically scarred and mute – unable to even utter the words ‘not guilty’.
It’s down to Lilly Valentine – a tough-talking Yorkshire lawyer – to prove Kelsey’s innocence. Prostitution, paedophilia, drugs and blackmail: Lily must put her own life at risk to save a silent, terrified child and find the real killer…
First Release: 2008
When the world has failed you, you need a place of safety…Hard-hitting crime from the author of Damaged Goods.
The rape of a young asylum seeker plunges family care lawyer Lilly Valentine into the toughest case of her life.
14-year-old Anna lives in Hounds Place, a hostel in Bedfordshire for youngsters seeking refuge from the atrocities being carried out in their homelands. A chance meeting with three public schoolboys ends in her being horrifically assaulted.
When Artan, Anna's friend and a fellow asylum seeker, approaches Lilly about seeking justice through the courts she warns him that the law may not be on their side. Who will believe the words of an asylum seeker over the account of three privileged English boys? Despite this, Lilly is loath to get involved. After all, she is supposed to be putting her family and work commitments first.
But Lilly quickly lives to regret that decision when Artan and Anna turn up at a school armed with guns, determined to take matters into their own hands. The day turns to tragedy and Anna is arrested. Wracked with guilt, Lilly is compelled to take on Anna's case despite the objections of her boyfriend Jack, boss, and most importantly, her own son Sam - a pupil at the school.
Her decision to defend Anna attracts a huge backlash from the press and the community. And when local racist groups pick up on the story, Lilly's family and friends become a target. Can Lilly follow her conscience and defend Anna - or is this case just too close to home?
First Release: 2008
Publisher: Harper Collins
Family care lawyer Lilly Valentine’s life is demanding enough. But when she is begged for help by Anwar Khan after his teenage sister commits suicide, she finds herself dragged into a community terrified by a self-styled vigilante group vowing to protect it’s women – by any means necessary…
Together with her new assistant Taslima, Lilly gets caught up in the sinister world of a self-styled vigilante group vowing to protect the 'honour' of the women in their community - and punishing those who 'stray.'
When another young Muslim girl disappears, Lilly knows it's only a matter of time before the group take the law into their own hands. But with so much in her own life at stake, has Lilly finally taken on more than she can handle?
First Release: 2009
The UK is gripped by the threat of gang violence - the media is building on that hysteria, convincing us that knife crime is rife and the streets are flooded with guns and drugs. So when a member of a notorious girl gang is charged with a brutal murder, sympathy is in short supply. Enter Lilly Valentine, a tough talking lawyer who is never prepared to take things at face value and is determined to uncover the truth, whatever the cost.
First Release: 2011
Lilly Valentine tries to help a damaged teenager - but has she been horrifically abused, or is she lying to save her own skin?
Lilly Valentine is not in a happy place. In the midst of her life crashing down around her, Lilly is asked by a child psychologist if she will help one of her patients: a girl currently sectioned having stolen a car while extremely drunk. While Lilly visits her she is introduced to Chloe, another unstable teenager who slips Lilly a note saying: 'Help us'.
And then Lilly's client is killed and Chloe accused of her murder. Her case is not helped by the fact that the words 'Help us' have been carved on the dead girl's stomach...
As the investigation gets underway, more and more accusations come to light. But are they lies to divert attention; delusions of a mentally ill mind, or may there be some truth lurking behind the walls of the Grove?
First Release: 2013
Lilly Valentine, tough talking lawyer and single mother, never makes things easy for herself and her latest case is about to become her biggest challenge yet.
Several years ago, Lilly successfully represented a terrified teenager, Kelsey Brand, accused of the brutal murder of her own mother. Now, ten years later, Kelsey has contacted Lilly again, this time to help her find her missing friend, Gem, last seen working in a strip club in the red light district in Luton.
And when another girl disappears from the same area, the evidence begins to point to a grooming gang targeting young and vulnerable teenage girls. Then Gem's mutilated body is discovered in a desolate country lane and Lilly realizes that she must do everything she can to find the still-missing girl before tragedy strikes once more.
But is Lilly a match for the gang of men involved who will do anything, including murder, to get what they want?
First Release: 2015