The Kindest Thing – Cath Staincliffe

About the Book:  A love story, a modern nightmare and an honest and incisive portrayal of a woman who honours her husband’s wish to die and finds herself in the dock for murder.

When Deborah reluctantly helps her beloved husband Neil end his life and conceals the truth, she is charged with murder. As the trial unfolds and her daughter Sophie testifies against her, Deborah, still reeling with grief, fights to defend her actions. Twelve jurors hold her fate in their hands, if found guilty she will serve a life sentence. Deborah seeks solace in her memories of Neil and their children and the love they shared. An ordinary woman caught up in an extraordinary situation.

A finely written page-turner, compelling, eloquent, heart-breaking. The Kindest Thing tackles a controversial topic with skill and sensitivity. A book that begs the question: what would you do?

My Review:  This is the third book I’ve read by Cath Staincliffe and what I particularly love about her standalone books is they all tackle controversial topics with sensitivity and compassion and each book makes you come away thinking “how would I cope in that situation?”.

I listened to The Kindest Thing on Audible and was captivated by the opening chapter.  Beautifully narrated by Anne Dover, The Kindest Thing is a love story with a tragic ending.  I’m not spoiling anything here by telling you that Deborah and Neil were happily married and then Neil is diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease and asks Deborah to help him end his life as the story actually begins with Deborah facing a murder charge in court.

If you are looking for a fast paced, page turner – then this isn’t the book for you.  But if you are looking for a sensitive, touching and thought-provoking story about assisted suicide and the impact of a terminal disease in a family, then I would recommend this book.

About the Author:  Cath Staincliffe is a best-selling, award-winning novelist, radio playwright and the creator of ITV’s hit series, Blue Murder, starring Caroline Quentin as DCI Janine Lewis. Cath’s books have been short-listed for the British Crime Writers Association best first novel award, for the Dagger in the Library and selected as Le Masque de l’Année.

In 2012 Cath won the CWA Short Story Dagger for Laptop, sharing the prize with Margaret Murphy with her story The Message. Cath was shortlisted again with Night Nurse in 2014. Cath’s Sal Kilkenny private eye series features a single-parent sleuth working the mean streets of Manchester. Trio, a stand-alone novel moved away from crime to explore adoption and growing up in the 1960s, inspired by Cath’s own experience.

Letters To My Daughter’s Killer was selected for Specsavers Crime Thriller Book Club in 2014 and featured on ITV3s Crime Thriller Club. Cath also writes the Scott & Bailey novels based on the popular UK TV series.

Cath’s latest stand alone book, The Girl in the Green Dress, was inspired by her experience as the parent of a transgender child. It tells the story of a transphobic hate crime and asks the question: how far would you go to protect your child? Cath is one of the founding members of Murder Squad – a group of Northern crime writers who give readings, talks and signings around the country. Cath was born in Bradford, Yorkshire, UK and now lives in Manchester, Lancashire with her family. You can follow her on Twitter, @CathStaincliffe, which she does when she should be busy writing!

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