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 . . .
This is going to be a fairly short review as I don’t want to give too much away. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up The Silence Between Breaths, but I was definitely surprised at how well the story was written. It’s a modern tale of terrorism and makes for an emotive and unfortunately a very credible read. Eight passengers board a train to Euston London, each one has somewhere to be, but little do they know life is about to change for every one of them in the most devastating way.
Cath Staincliffe very convincingly brings all her characters to life which made the events on the train and what happens to them all the more difficult to read about, especially as similar events have happened here and abroad. The characters were so normal travelling for a job interview, going to a wedding, doing every day things, and this is what made for a terrifying yet credible read, how many times have you read similar things when acts of terrorism have been committed? People who were going about their daily business but just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The characters are well developed some were more likeable than others, but each one has a story to tell, I felt the author expertly portrayed each of their story’s with conviction and feeling.
The author does a remarkable job of ramping up the tension as events reach crisis point, my heart was in my mouth on more than one occasion as you know what’s coming, but not the how or when. At times I felt the story read like a documentary it was so convincing, this is a such a powerful and thought provoking read that it left me close to tears on several occasions. I can’t say I enjoyed this read as it deals with such a harrowing subject, but I will say I’m glad I read it, it’s well written and very plausible, and even writing this review a couple of weeks later the events of the book still linger with me.
4 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️out of 5
Print Length: 272 pages
Publisher: Constable (22 Sept. 2016)