The Times described her first novel, Carnevale as the possessor of ‘the most covetable life’ in fiction. The Remedy, a literary murder-mystery, was long-listed for the 2005 Orange Price for Fiction. The Book of Human Skin takes on Holy Anorexia, psychopathy and an unusual form of bibliomania. Channel 4’s TV Book Club chose it as a Summer Read. Her fifth adult novel was The True & Splendid History of the Harristown Sisters, about seven impoverished Irish girls with torrents of troublesome hair.
Her first children’s novel, The Undrowned Child, was described by The Independent as ‘gripping, elegant and original’. It was followed by The Mourning Emporium, Talina in the Tower and The Fate in the Box.
She worked with Milly Dowler’s sister Gemma for two years, producing the memoir, My Sister Milly (2017), which was an Amazon No.1 and a Sunday Times best-seller.
She was a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the Courtauld Institute of Art and Kings College London’s Graduate School. Her poetry has been recognized in the Bridport and other prizes.