Saturday, 29 September 2018

#BlogTour False Witness by Michelle Davies

Today it is my pleasure to finish off the fabulous BlogTour for False Witness by Michelle Davies. It is the type of psychological thriller that makes you take sides and ponder the question of guilt and punishment.

About the Author
Michelle Davies was born in Middlesex in 1972, raised in Buckinghamshire and now lives in north London.

Her debut crime novel, Gone Astray, was published in Hardback in March 2016 and features Family Liaison Officer DC Maggie Neville as its central police character. The paperback version is due for publication on 20th October 2016. Gone Astray was part of a two-book deal with Pan Macmillan and the follow-up, Wrong Place, also featuring DC Neville, is due for release on 27th February 2017.

When she's not turning her hand to crime, Michelle writes as a freelance journalist for women's magazines including Marie Claire, Essentials, YOU and Stylist. Her last staff job before going freelance was as Editor-at-Large at Grazia and she was previously Features Editor at heat. She began her career straight from school at 18, working as a trainee reporter on her home-town newspaper, the Bucks Free Press.

Follow @M_Davieswrites @panmacmillan on Twitter

About the book
7.15am: Two children are seen on top of a wall in a school. 
Shortly later one of them lies fatally injured at the bottom. 
Did the boy fall or was he pushed?

As a family liaison offer, DC Maggie Neville has seen parents crumble under the weight of their child’s death. Imogen Tyler is no different. Her son’s fall was witnessed by the school caretaker, a pupil is under suspicion, and Imogen is paralysed by grief and questions.
For Maggie, finding the truth is paramount if she is to help the mother. But as she investigates, further doubts emerge and the truth suddenly seems far from certain. Could the witness be mistaken about what happened, and if he is, then who is responsible? And how far will they go to cover up the boy’s death?
False Witness by Michelle Davies is the gripping third novel in the critically acclaimed Maggie Neville series, following Gone Astray and Wrong Place.

In the UK there is a notorious and very tragic case, which involves children killing children. Although this is less graphic and painful to read it does bring up the same topics of age, guilt and punishment. There is a legal age when a child becomes culpable and punishable by law, despite that the public views crimes by children differently.

Our brains aren't fully developed till about mid 20's, does that mean a child isn't aware of right and wrong? When are they able to distinguish between crime and just rough play? In this story two children go up on a wall and only one comes down. Was the boy pushed or did he slip? Is it just an accident or was Poppy fully capable of making the decision to harm Benji? Was it just an emotional reflex or are we talking calculated?

Can you really isolate a child from family, peers and society and expect them to turn out anything other than damaged property. Or are there crimes that are so indefensible that there is no other choice but to do that. Not every child who commits a criminal act has a psychopathy.

One of the other interesting aspects of this story is the way the author portrays the influence social media and the media has on these kind of cases. Families and children are vilified without facts or evidence. They are tried, quartered and hung via comments before even stepping into a court room, which means there is no such thing as an objective view on the situation.

Davies presents both sides of this difficult scenario to create an emotional and gripping read. In the end the waters are so muddied that there is no clear answer. Why? It's a child that's why, which means the brain says one thing, whilst the heart and body can say or do a completely different thing.

It's a read which will make people discuss, and I can imagine even argue at times. Perhaps because there is no clear cut answer to these types of incidents or crimes, and each case is individual. Either way it is a gripping read.

Buy False Witness at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Publisher: Pan MacMillan

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