Friday, August 19, 2011

Witness by Cath Staincliff

As the title suggests, Witness  is about the reactions of witnesses to a crime which could happen anywhere. In this instance it involves gangland figures in Manchester, but it could be in any UK city.

A teenage boy is shot down. The immediate witnesses to the scene are in danger and have to struggle with their own demons as to whether or not they will appear in court for the prosecution, knowing their own or their family's lives could be at risk.

In Cath Staincliff's Witness, the story centres around 4 witnesses.

Fiona, a midwife, hears the gunshots and attends to the dying boy.

Mike, a delivery driver on his rounds, finds himself having to choose between testifying in court or losing his own family.

Cheryl, a single mum, has the dilemma of speaking out now, despite the obvious dangers, or risking her child growing up in the same climate of fear.

Zak, a homeless man, has little to lose and more to gain by speaking out.

This is a well-paced and fascinating read which places ordinary people in a situation most of us wouldn't want to be, but which could happen to any one of us.