#GuestPost from Liz Mistry #Author of Broken Silence @rararesources @LizMistryAuthor #TuesdayBookBlog

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Broken Silence, courtesy of Rachel’s Random Resources. 

Liz Mistry has kindly written a guest post discussing themes in Broken Silence.

Over to Liz…

The title Broken Silence is appropriate for this novel in so many ways. The themes in the novel are diverse, but each theme is about the adverse impact of silence on individuals and how important breaking the silence can be. So, I’d like to talk a little about some of the themes in Broken Silence.

Stefan Marcovici’s story

I hadn’t realised quite how prevalent Modern Day Slavery was until a couple of years ago when I attended a talk by Baroness Lola young and Kevin Hyland OBE at Bradford Literature festival. Until then, I had to say I’d buried my head in the sand and wasn’t aware of how often slavery is there in front of our noses in plain sight. I did a lot of research and watched a lot of documentaries before writing this novel and the examples I’ve used, believe me are only the very tip of the iceberg.  In Broken Silence the modern day slave story is told mainly through the point of view of Stefan Marcovici. A man who has paid the last of his savings in an attempt to transport his family from poverty and victimisation in Romania. He and his daughter Maria think they have approached a legitimate company who will employ them when they reach the UK. Instead Maria is taken into a world of drugs and prostitution whilst her father Stefan is forced to work in a chicken factory. As the gang who holds them captive opens up bank accounts in their names, whilst keeping hold of their passports, they are trapped. I wanted to speak to the inhumanity of it all, buy making Stefan as real a character as possible. Some of the scenes involving Stefan were heart-breaking to write … but his story is just one of many and it needs to be told.

Felicity Springer’s story

Again, this is a subject where all too often, the victim feels unable to break their silence. Sometimes it’s because they are uncertain whether a rape occurred, or because they feel ashamed or for many other reasons. I wanted to expose the way in which sexual predators operate. I wanted to show how organised and premeditated they could be … but I also wanted to show the effects on their victims, whilst at the same time empowering them. Felicity Springer’s story is not a new one … sadly it’s not an isolated one and even more sadly, it probably won’t be the last time it needs to be told. But I wanted to leave her and the other women subjected to the predatory behaviour with the knowledge that they had broken the silence. That by speaking out they had not only held one man to account, but had exposed the power dynamics of various institutions that enabled that behaviour.   

DC Sajid Malik’s story

Whilst gay rights are widely accepted and embedded in law, that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to be gay. Sajid is from a Muslim background and is gay. So what, you might think – what does it matter? Well, for Sajid, he knows his family will disown him. He fears they may well physically harm him or his partner Langley and he doesn’t know what to do. He is outed by the press which results in him indeed being disowned and in him being attacked. After the protests about the no outsider’s curriculum, I felt it was time for Sajid to break the silence on his sexuality – I only wish he’d been able to do that for himself rather than being forcibly outed.

About the Book

When DS Felicity Springer is reported missing after a police training conference, the countdown to find her begins…

On her way home after an exhausting weekend, with colleagues she can’t wait to escape, Felicity notices something odd about the white van in front of her. A hand has punched through the car’s rear light and is frantically waving, trying to catch her attention.

Desperate to help, Felicity dials 999 and calls it in. But whilst on the phone, she loses control of the car on the icy road, crashing straight into the vehicle ahead.

Pinned in the seat and unable to move, Felicity feels a sudden whoosh of cold air across her face. Someone has opened the passenger door… and they have a gun.

With Felicity missing and no knowledge of whether she is dead or alive, DS Nikki Parekh and DC Sajid Malik race to find their friend and colleague.

But Felicity was harbouring a terrible secret, and with her life now hanging in the balance, Nikki can only hope that someone will come forward and break the silence…

Purchase Links ~ Paperback / E Book

About the Author

Born in Scotland, Made in Bradford sums up Liz Mistry’s life. Over thirty years ago she moved from a small village in West Lothian to Yorkshire to get her teaching degree. Once here, Liz fell in love with three things; curries, the rich cultural diversity of the city … and her Indian husband (not necessarily in this order). Now thirty years, three children, two cats (Winky and Scumpy) and a huge extended family later, Liz uses her experiences of living and working in the inner city to flavour her writing. Her gritty crime fiction police procedural novels set in Bradford embrace the city she describes as ‘Warm, Rich and Fearless’ whilst exploring the darkness that lurks beneath.

Struggling with severe clinical depression and anxiety for a large number of years, Liz often includes mental health themes in her writing. She credits the MA in Creative Writing she took at Leeds Trinity University with helping her find a way of using her writing to navigate her ongoing mental health struggles. Being a debut novelist in her fifties was something Liz had only dreamed of and she counts herself lucky, whilst pinching herself regularly to make sure it’s all real. One of the nicest things about being a published author is chatting with and responding to readers’ feedback and Liz regularly does events at local libraries, universities, literature festivals and open mics. She also teaches creative writing too. Now, having nearly completed a PhD in Creative Writing focussing on ‘the absence of the teen voice in adult crime fiction’ and ‘why expansive narratives matter’, Liz is chock full of ideas to continue writing.

In her spare time, Liz loves pub quizzes (although she admits to being rubbish at them), dancing (she does a mean jig to Proud Mary – her opinion, not ratified by her family), visiting the varied Yorkshire landscape, with Robin Hoods Bay being one of her favourite coastal destinations, listening to music, reading and blogging about all things crime fiction on her blog, The Crime Warp. 

Social Media Links ~ Website / Facebook / Twitter

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