Today I’m thrilled to be one of the bloggers taking part in the Quiet Acts Of Violence by Cath Staincliffe. Unfortunately due to the timeframe for this tour I couldn’t fit in a review, so the author has kindly written a guest post. I’m must admit I love the sound of this book and I will be adding it to my humongous and ever growing TBR pile.
Before I share Cathy’s guest post here’s the book description…..
Family and betrayal, injustice and poverty, the ties that bind and those that break us…Quiet Acts of Violence is a crime novel for our times.
A dead baby. A missing mother. A cradle of secrets. Has the woman killed her child? Is she at risk to herself? Someone in the neighbourhood of old terraced streets has the answers. But detectives Donna Bell and Jade Bradshaw find lies and obstruction at every turn, in a community living on the edge, ground down by austerity and no hope. A place of broken dreams. Of desperation. And murder.
When a stranger crashes into Jade’s life, her past comes hurtling back, threatening to destroy her and the world she has carved out for herself.
Donna struggles to juggle everything: work, marriage, kids. It’s a precarious balancing act, and the rug is about to be pulled from under her..
I’ve written three detective series, the Sal Kilkenny private eye stories, the Blue Murder books and the Scott & Bailey novelswhich act as prequels to the brilliant TV series created by Sally Wainwright and Di Taylor. In them all I’m dealing with women characters who live real, messy lives often juggling home and work in a way that reflects what life is like for so many of us. (Even if we’re not chasing killers in the day job). And now it looks like I’m writing a fresh series.
Quiet Acts of Violence sees DI Donna Bell and DC Jade Bradshaw investigating the death of a newborn baby and launching a hunt for her missing mother. It’s set in 2018 against a backdrop of austerity, and resulting poverty. Donna and Jade, are the same detective duo, who investigated a transphobic murder in The Girl in the Green Dress. But you don’t have to have read the first book to enjoy the second.
The Girl in the Green Dress was initially a standalone book, the story inspired by my experience as the parent of a transgender child, and my knowing that she was at increased risk of violence simply because of her identity. I recognised then that Donna and Jade had the potential to return and several readers asked me if I’d plans to bring them back. They wanted more. Given how much I’d enjoyed writing them, and feeling there was lots still to discover about them, it seemed increasingly like an excellent idea.
I like the contrast between them, Donna is settled, married with five kids and she’s an experienced professional who is good at her job and gifted in dealing compassionately with people in the most horrific situations. Jade is much younger, inexperienced, though her tough early life has given her street smarts. Jade can be reckless, thoughtless and as Donna observes, ‘Jade wasn’t wired like most people. The empathy gene missing or disabled. But she needed to grasp that part of being a good detective was to be able to put yourselves in someone else’s shoes. It required the ability to hold someone’s hand and walk them over the stepping stones of truth, steadily and with care, because no matter what horrors they had witnessed or perpetrated they were human. Like you. Could Jade learn any of that? Was the capacity in there hidden beneath the surface?’
I think Jade has the potential to learn and grow. But Jade is also vulnerable, she has her own demons to fight and in Quiet Acts of Violence they pursue her with a vengeance.
I’m not sure when Donna and Jade will next return but I can tell you that The Girl in the Green Dress has been optioned for TV so with a whole heap of luck we might one day see them onscreen. Fingers crossed!
- Print Length: 304 pages
- Publisher: Constable (2 July 2020)
Buying link: Amazon UK 🇬🇧
Praise for Cath Staincliffe:
‘A star in the firmament of British crime fiction’ Big Issue in the North
‘Sensitive and humane’ The Guardian
‘Unique in British crime fiction: truthful, affirmative and exciting.
Planted in the real world and looking good on it’ Literary Review
‘Harrowing and humane’ Ian Rankin
Cath Staincliffe is an award–winning novelist, radio playwright and creator of ITV’s hit series Blue Murder. Cath’s books have been shortlisted for the CWA Best First Novel award. She was joint winner of the CWA Short Story Dagger in 2012. Letters To My Daughter’s Killer was selected for the Specsavers Crime Thriller Book Club on ITV3 in 2014. Cath also writes the Scott & Bailey books based on the popular ITV series. She lives with her family in Manchester.
My thanks to Cathy Staincliffe for her guest post
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