My first novel, The Secret Son, was published by Poolbeg Press in September 2013.

In The Secret Son, two families are thrown together by a dark secret revealed by a will. The book explores the themes of identity, family relationships and coming to terms with the past.

I came up with the idea for The Secret Son while studying Wills and Probate law during my solicitor traineeship. I was surprised by the number of cases that come before the courts where families have fallen out over the contents of a dead relative’s will.

I began to mull over the idea of a will that went one step further than the cases I was studying – instead of merely dividing out monies in an unexpected way, I thought of a will that went one step further and revealed a secret from the past. The Secret Son was born.

The Secret Son

Seán Murtagh, who has been living and working in New York since leaving college five years previously, returns home to Wicklow when his wealthy father, Liam, is unexpectedly killed in a car crash. He is shocked to discover that Liam’s will disinherits his wife and children, leaving the family home and fortune to a secret son, Andrew Shaw.

For the Shaw family, the news offers a lifeline. Twenty year old Andrew is seriously ill with kidney disease and the inheritance may mean the difference between life and death. However, the lives of Andrew, his devoted older sister Tors and younger brother Jack are interrupted when their mother insists they move across the country to Wicklow to stake their claim under the will.

Thrown together, Seán Murtagh and Tors Shaw find their loyalties tested as they try to find some middle ground between the families, while each dealing with their own grief and personal tragedies. Further revelations from the past, along with Andrew’s deteriorating health, creates an impossible situation that threatens everything Seán and Tors hold dear.