The Silence Between Breaths – Horror and Humanity

My recent novels explore the impact of crime on ordinary people. They are not experts, not professionals, not detectives or forensic scientists, career criminals or lawyers or investigative journalists but people like you and me who are suddenly caught up in some horrific tragedy. They are victims and survivors. Their stories are about situations that frighten me and disturb me, the sort of thing that could happen to any one of us but that you never think will happen to you. In The Silence Between Breaths that tragedy is a terrorist attack. The current threat level in the UK is severe, meaning a terrorist attack is highly likely, and in recent weeks we’ve seen the attack at Westminster while others have been thwarted. The book follows nine characters to look at a range of responses to the threat of danger and the experience of trauma. Among those perspectives is that of a member of the terrorist’s family – a viewpoint I’ve heard little about in news and analysis. There are questions to be answered in the writing: how would each character cope, what they would do under such pressure? Questions I’m also asking of myself. When reading about real-life incidents I’ve been struck at how in the most harrowing of circumstances we have such great capacity for humanity and that’s something I’ve tried to capture in the story.

4 thoughts on “The Silence Between Breaths – Horror and Humanity

  1. Hi Cath , just finished your book the silence between breaths. Absolutely amazing. I did an all nighter couldn’t put it down. I am from Perth in Western Australia originally from Birmingham UK a long time ago. I messaged my cousins wife in the UK also a keen reader and she is going to get the book. I can’t get over how you got it so right . The awful time on the train your characters were amazing and the beautiful family of the suicide bomber. Hey I’m not a writer and I admire what you did so much I’ve often thought abought the families of all concerned. My son lost three good mates in the Bali bombing and we went to a lot of funerals not the least being one of the brothers of one of the boys who died in Bali committed suicide three months after the event.I am very aware of the trauma that comes with this kind of attack used to wake up to my son crying all the time.I think you did a wonderful job trying to explain how your characters felt. All the very best

    • Hi Sharon, Thanks so much for getting in touch about the book. That trauma you describe is just so hard and life-changing. I hope your son is finding things easier now. We’ve had the attack in Manchester this week and been overwhelmed at the terrible cruelty of it but also the solidarity and humanity of everyone in the immediate aftermath. All the best to you too.

  2. I finished The Silence between Breaths this morning and felt I had to tell you how brilliant it was. The characters’ stories and the impact on all involved was so well written. I live in Cantral London and, sadly this morning, there was an explosion on an underground train. It was such a coincidence to have just finished your book. Thank you.

    • Thank you Maria. Sorry for the delay in replying – I’ve been away without Wi-Fi so not able to get online and I’ve only just heard about the attack on the London underground train as well. I’m really pleased that you enjoyed the book. It’s always sad to hear about these terrible incidents and I tried my best to capture what it might be like to live through something like that in the novel.

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