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Split Second

3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  193 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
A winter's evening and a trio of unruly youths board a bus and gang up on teenager Luke Donnelly, hurling abuse and threatening to kill him. The bus is full but no one intervenes until Jason Barnes, a young student, challenges the youths. Luke seizes the chance to run off the bus but his attackers follow.

Andrew Barnes is dragged from the shower by his wife Valerie: there's
Paperback, 314 pages
Published July 2012 by Robinson (first published January 1st 2012)
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Maxine  (Booklover Catlady)
This is an outstanding novel, one that will stay with me for a long time.

One evening, on a bus, a trio of aggressive teens threaten and harass Luke Murray, nobody intervenes until a young student, Jason Barnes challenges the gang to get them to stop the bullying and threats. He pays the ultimate price for daring to stick up for Luke.

It's a powerful book, the characters are well developed and the book explains things from a few different characters POV as emotions and events roll out after the i
Samantha Curtis
May 18, 2016 Samantha Curtis rated it it was amazing
What can I say? Another great book by Cath Staincliffe

To start off with this book really torn at my
heartstrings. As a mother you really think
about things that could happen in life
and could be taken away from you any minute.

Luke was minding his own business and the bus and 3 youths
got on the bus that he new and started giving him abuse and hit him.
No one didnt know what to say and no one defended him intil a brave lad named jason come down the stairs on the bus when he saw the youth assult lu
Sep 04, 2012 Beadyjan rated it really liked it
What a fabulous read the characters are intensely real and the descriptions of their emotions are amazingly well handled.

Shy, plump Emma is taking a late bus ride home when 3 Chavs get on and begin harassing and racially abusing a young lad sitting a few seats in front. Emma is appalled and frightened, she wants them to stop but is also scared they'll notice her and turn their attentions to her and as they get more violent and nobody else intervenes we share her feelings of fear and disgust.

Jul 05, 2012 Ellie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime
Luke Murray is minding his own business on a Manchester bus when three chavs start calling him racist names, threatening and hitting him. For fellow passenger, Emma, the situation is paralysing, naturally shy, she is scared to intervene but also knows what’s happening is wrong. She wills someone else on the bus to do something. When Jason Barnes comes down the stairs to get off the bus, he sees what’s going on and tries to put a stop. When the doors open Luke, and his tormenters, make a run for ...more
Oct 04, 2013 Mjl rated it really liked it
Harrowing almost from start to finish. A really tragic story, the death of a young man in defence of a stranger and the aftermath for the families involved. A nice counterpoint to this is the back story of the main witness who has problems of her own, and whilst the lives of the boys and their loved ones spiral into grief and despair, she finds the strength to help herself.

Not light reading by any stretch of the imagination but a great story nonetheless, delicately executed with regularly switch
Ginni Brinkley
Oct 06, 2013 Ginni Brinkley rated it really liked it
4.5 stars really. That was a hard read, probably the hardest of the year. It was compelling (goodness knows I thought I'd stop often enough) but tough. Did I like it? Not really. Would I read it again? Probably not. I'm not sure it's a book written to be liked, or read again, it's too harrowing for that. Was it well written? Yes, definitely. She made the characters and the tragedy real, which is why I both loved it and hated it. I hope that's what she wanted!
Jul 07, 2014 Rach rated it it was amazing
outstanding writing, utterly heartbreaking
Craig Jarvis
Apr 18, 2013 Craig Jarvis rated it really liked it
An emotional ride told through the eyes of 3 people. A grieving father, a single mother of 2 and a young girl who witnessed the start of it all sat on the bus and did nothing..
It starts off asking "What would you do"?.. Honestly! And takes you on an emotional journey of how each of them cope with what happens.
Oct 17, 2014 Michelle rated it it was ok
Whilst I thought the idea sounded particularly interesting, and the general theme of the book is reasonably thought provoking, I just didn't like the execution. The writing seemed to lack depth and meaning as it was very basic, and for that reason it wasn't something capable of gripping me in any way. I liken it to someone who writes exactly what they're thinking or exactly what they want to say, rather than the thoughtful crafting that some authors seem to employ. Without that, it misses the sp ...more
Sarah Idle
Jan 21, 2016 Sarah Idle rated it it was ok
I think a preschooler could have written this story better. The storyline had so much potential and was an interesting concept that the author attempted to explore. But the actual writing was so turgid. The layers of language to describe emotions were painful to read. The occasional uses of colloquialisms to add an accent to one of the characters simply wasn't enough to create a true sense of an accent. It was just distracting and annoying; think 'yer' to denote a 'common' northern accent.

The ch
Jan 24, 2013 Victoria rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved this book. Could not put it down. Would recommend.
Jennifer Joyce
Oct 06, 2012 Jennifer Joyce rated it it was amazing
Emma is on her way home from work when three youths swagger onto the bus. They spot someone they know - another teenager, Luke - and start to harass him, taunting him with vile, racist names. Emma knows they should be stopped but she's afraid to stand up to them. Surely the driver will throw them off the bus for causing trouble. And what about the rugby player-framed man at the front of the bus? Shouldn't he step in?

But the only person willing to stick up for Luke is another youth. When Luke is
Oct 10, 2013 Jeet rated it really liked it
I picked this book up off the libraray shelf, it was a quick decision. I had just read a Mark Billingham so am in a crime mode.... I was wary that it would be sad, so I toyed with the idea of reading it, but I'm glad I did, I really enjoyed, it, a definete page turner, & at the same time, really emotional, so many times I welled up. Kept on thinking how I would feel/do if I was in Andrew and Vals shoes, totally devasting!! But I read on and am glad I did. This is hard, gritty and ever so ref ...more
May 05, 2013 Helen rated it it was amazing
Though this is a book you would find in the Crime Fiction section of a bookshop, it takes the crime fiction reader into new territory: the journey is challenging, thought-provoking, and moving.

Split Second is a sensitive and courageous exploration of the devastation caused by a mindless act of violence. The story is told from different viewpoints: the passive witness and the parents of the victims. This cannot have been an easy approach but the author has handled the complexity of the narrators
Feb 24, 2014 Sarah rated it it was amazing
This is a brilliant book; very well-written and thought-provoking. The subject matter is very upsetting, and I was initially unsure about reading as I am getting squeamish in my old age, but it is handled very sensitively and intelligently. I became totally engrossed in the story and the characters who are dealing with the repercussions of the short but life-changing event, and I spent most of the courtroom section of the book in tears. Not an enjoyable read, but a very very good one.
Jun 19, 2013 Victoria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An incident on a bus - three youths picking on a boy they know. A bystander who intervenes and follows them off the bus. A vicious beating and a stabbing later and the boy is in a coma while the bystander is dead. The story is told through the eyes of three people who's lives are changed by this crime. Andrew is the dead man's father and struggles with his own grief while his marriage falls apart. Louise is the single mother who has to juggle the needs of her talented daughter with her beloved b ...more
Heather Hyde
Nov 12, 2015 Heather Hyde rated it really liked it
Usual good read, a story about a family torn apart when a son tries to do the right thing and goes to the aid of a lad being hounded by three youths, with devastating consequences. It's told really well and with conviction, with believable characters and emotions.
Lynn Halliday
May 20, 2015 Lynn Halliday rated it really liked it
Thought provoking and extremely moving. This book was so well written you can truly feel the emotions of the three characters. Sadly enough this book isn't as far removed from today's reality as it should be.
Jun 02, 2015 Rachel rated it it was ok
I was enthusiastic about this book, especially after reading the first 50 pages. But then I quickly realised the story was dying out fast. In my opinion there wasn't enough meat for the story to continue.
Veronica Valladares
Th journey is challenging, thought provoking, and moving. Would recommend.
Sandra Shannon
Jan 10, 2015 Sandra Shannon rated it it was amazing
A gripping read. Two innocent young men are viciously attacked, one left to die and the other fighting for his life. The story of their families, their grief, anger and sadness. Eventually the instigators are charged and both families' have to sit through the gruelling court case. Another fantastic novel by Cath Staincliffe
Sep 29, 2013 Jack rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just one of those nasty little crimes you read about in the paper - aggressive behaviour escalates into violence, with serious consequences. This book looks at such a crime from the perspective of three people affected by it - for the rest of their lives. The characters are totally believable.
Sasha Heath
Aug 15, 2012 Sasha Heath rated it really liked it
A book that kept me reading right to the end. Great if you like fiction written from different perspectives (like I do). I've never been through such tragic events but I think it was written sympathetically. Would recommend.
Feb 18, 2013 Dave rated it did not like it
Didn't like it, couldn't get into it at all, didn't bother getting past 50 pages. A possible attempt at a future read, but only if nothing else around
Aug 24, 2012 Alex rated it liked it
Not my favourite style - written from a number of different perspectives. Having said that, I did finish it, which for me is nothing short of amazing!
May 31, 2012 Sandy rated it liked it
Didn't do too well with this book, and I have abandoned it! Not the books fault - entirely mine. May read again soon.
Lauren Smith
Jan 15, 2013 Lauren Smith rated it really liked it
Filled with all kinds of emotion especially in the later chapters. Self-evaluating book if anything.
Sep 01, 2012 Wendy rated it liked it
Does make you think about what you would do. I would most likely be too scared to interfere.
Review to follow.
Louise Wilson
Louise Wilson marked it as to-read
Aug 22, 2016
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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 and for the Dagger in the Library and selected as Le Masque de l'Année. In 2012 Cath won the CWA Short Story Dagger for Lapto ...more
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