Jennifer Jones, the eponymous ‘JJ’, killed her best friend at ten. Now 16, and just released from detention, she has a new identity and the opportunity to make a fresh start of her life. But, persecuted by press and public alike, has she any hope of – or right to – privacy? Can she leave her past actions behind her? And what real chance has she of leading a normal life?
The novel begins in the present. Teenager Jennifer has been placed in the care of Rosie, a social worker and, under the name of Alice Tully, she works in a Croydon coffee shop. Alice aches for anonymity. Alice craves conformity. Alice wants to forget. But the actions of the past haunt her present life. Ever worried that her true identity will be revealed, she continually replays and reflects on the monstrous event that no name change or change of address will erase – that ‘moment of madness’, six long years ago, on a day out with friends, that will change her life forever.
Totally gripping, Looking for JJ presents a compelling insight into the incomprehensible actions of a child that kills another child. In a teasingly-structured novel, in which the events of the past are interwoven with the events of the present, the reader finishes the novel clear as to what happened, but with no comforting, single, answer as to why.