Another compelling novel from the creator of ITV’s Blue Murder.
On his way home on a bus one evening, Luke Murphy is confronted by three teenagers. Despite there being many witnesses, only one - student Jason Barnes - intervenes. He follows the group as they chase Luke off the bus. A fight breaks out outside Jason’s house and as his father rushes to help, the attackers flee, leaving Luke unconscious and badly beaten. Jason shouts for his parents to phone an ambulance for Luke, but Luke isn’t the only one injured. As the one who interceded in the confrontation, Jason is the one who will pay the ultimate price.
The book follows three central characters: Jason’s devastated father Andrew; Luke’s mum Louise, who waits anxiously to see if her son will recover, and a witness from the bus - painfully shy Emma who has her own demons to battle. Andrew fights to save his marriage; Louise tries to keep things together for her daughter; and Emma, haunted by regret at doing nothing to help Luke on the bus, summons the bravery to act. All are brought together by the trial and the desire for justice, and the book poses the question: is it ever right to look the other way?
Split Second is incredibly thought-provoking in many ways, not just the moral association. Cath Staincliffe has a talent for putting herself in the shoes of other people: the grieving father, the mother stuck in limbo and the troubled teenager. The trial itself is engrossing and exceptionally well written with tension and emotion in abundance. This book will appeal to readers who appreciate contemporary issues, human interest or crime stories.