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Sunday 12 June 2011

‘Witness’ by Cath Staincliffe

Published by Constable, 21st April 2011: ISBN: 978-1-84901-343-7

When Danny Macateer is shot on a Sunday morning in Hulme, it dramatically effect’s the lives of four people.  Four people who saw, and were inadvertently involved in something they would must certainly have preferred not to have witnessed.

First on the scene is Fiona a midwife, she heard the shot from inside her home and rushing to Danny’s aid tried her best to save his life.  Now she is haunted by the memory and the metallic smell which she can’t seem to get rid of, no matter what she does. Now plagued by panic attacks she is constantly in fear.

For single mother Cheryl, it’s too close, she recognises the car and the killer, but he also knows her.

Mike a delivery man is driving past and sees the actual shooting, he calls an ambulance, but dealing with the police he’s missed nine deliveries. His boss is on his back and when he tells his wife, she freaks out and tells him he must say nothing of what he saw or their lives will be in danger.

Homeless man Zak, is just looking the wrong way at the wrong time.  Living nowhere wandering the streets Zak is vulnerable – would he be safer telling the police what he saw?

Several people know who shot Danny Macateer but will they have the courage to speak out.  This is a heart-searing story as we follow the lives of these four people caught up in abnormal circumstances. 

Brilliantly crafted, a traumatic story in which any one of us could find ourselves involved.  No matter how good a citizen we are, do we have the courage to do the right thing and in doing so put ourselves, and those we love at risk.  Will the witnesses come forward and withstand the pressure of giving evidence?
Lizzie Hayes

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