Abandoned and alone, you'll do anything to survive...
A gritty saga from the bestselling author Kitty Neale.
Abandoned on the cold stone steps of an orphanage, only a few hours old and clutching the object which was to give her name, Pearl Button had a hard start to life.
Now 16 years old, she's finally managed to escape the cruel confines of the orphanage, and enter the real world. Finding work at a nearby cafe, Pearl is thrilled to start earning her own money, even if she must contend with sharp-tongued Dolly Dolby.
But soon she becomes tangled up in the murky South London underworld in which Dolly's son - the cruel but handsome Kevin - operates. By chance, she sees something she shouldn't, something dangerous, and her life is thrown into jeopardy. Can gentle giant Derek Lewis protect vulnerable Pearl from Kevin - and her own heart?
Meanwhile, a local boy is snatched, terrifying this close-knit community, and at the orphanage where Pearl lived out her wretched childhood, the past is coming back to haunt its owner - and the secret she has promised to guard for so many years...
Kitty Neale was raised in South London and this working class area became the inspiration for her novels. In the 1980s she moved to Surrey with her husband and two children, but in 1998 there was a catalyst in her life when her son died, aged 27. After working for 2 years with other bereaved parents in a support group, Kitty took up writing, and now lives in Spain with her husband.