The Unknown Bridesmaid, by Margaret Forster
This was recommended by a friend, and with good reason it turns out. A child psychologist in the process of becoming a magistrate sorts through her troubled childhood, in what turns into a meditation on the razor-thin margin separating the criminal and antisocial from the legal and (putatively) normal. The alternating flash-back and present-day structure is surprisingly effective, while the case studies of disturbed children investigated and interviewed by our narrator are left frustratingly open-ended, which presumably is the point.
An unlikely page-turner, two thumbs up!