The Silence Between Breaths

Passengers boarding the 10.35 train from Manchester Piccadilly to London Euston are bound for work, assignations, reunions, holidays or new starts, with no idea that their journey is about to be brutally curtailed. Holly has just landed her dream job, which should make life a lot easier than it has been, and Jeff is heading for his first ever work interview after months of unemployment. They end up sitting next to each other. Onboard customer service assistant Naz dreams of better things as he collects rubbish from the passengers. And among the others travelling are Nick with his young family who are driving him crazy; pensioner Meg and her partner setting off on a walking holiday and facing an uncertain future; Caroline, run ragged by the competing demands of her stroppy teenage children and her demented mother; and Rhona, unhappy at work and desperate to get home to her small daughter. And in the middle of the carriage sits Saheel, carrying a deadly rucksack…


‘Such a good writer … eerie, moving … an absorbing read’ Marcel Berlins, The Times

‘Powerful, thoughtful ensemble novel about a terror attack and its legacy. Very filmic. Harrowing and humane. A real knockout’ Ian Rankin 

‘This book will haunt you’ Ann Cleeves

‘A wonderful novel’ The Daily Express

‘Remarkable depth … the  most grown-up writer in British crime fiction … mercilessly exciting’ Jake Kerridge, The Telegraph

‘Moves from moments of incredible tension to tragedy and its aftermath that’s as harrowing as it is powerful’ Deirdre O’Brien, Sunday Mirror

‘You’ll want to read it in one sitting’ The Times and Sunday Times Crime Club

‘A sensitive and humane writer whose talent for characterisation … is the fuel for real suspense’ Laura Wilson, The Guardian

 ‘THE most relevant read of the year’ Postcard Reviews

‘Expertly written thriller, up to the very minute’ Toronto Star

‘Gripping…Ripped from the headlines and totally scary’ Irish Independent

‘A painfully credible story, vividly imagined.I recommend it highly, but don’t read it on a train’ Jessica Mann, Literary Review

‘Gripping, topical page-turner’ Good Housekeeping

‘Staincliffe gives us realistic snapshots of ‘ordinary’ lives, mixed with a heinous crime which is unfortunately, all believable’ Peterborough Telegraph

‘The characters are well drawn enough to stay with you’ The Sunday Times

 ‘A story of people, of relationships, of terror, of anger and of overwhelming sadness’ Sharon Hunt, Netgalley

‘Quite simply astonishing’

‘Provoking and heartbreaking in equal measure’ Tracey Fenton, Netgalley

‘A fiercely original and incredibly moving novel’ Stav Sherez

‘Cath Staincliffe has created an immensely harrowing, powerful and sad read that is also impossible to put down. Outstanding and heartbreaking in equal measure’

‘The characters are the story’s true accomplishment’

‘A masterclass in how to create character and tension’

‘A character driven page turner full of very differing views and emotions that everybody needs to read’

‘A book that will stay with you’

‘The Silence Between Breaths is enriched by the characters’ observations of their fellow narrators in the same carriage’ Crime Scene Magazine

‘It’s so easy to read and yet so deep and moving’

‘Her characters are fabulous and her plots are tense and satisfying’

‘Expect a bumpy ride in this tense and twisty thriller’

‘The Silence Between Breaths is a thought provoking, upsetting and rewarding story that will stay with me for a long time’

‘Heartbreaking and so chilling’

‘Such a powerful and thought provoking read that it left me close to tears’


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