Blurb; The most dangerous place is inside your own head…
Dr Samantha Willerby, a specialist in Post Traumatic Stress, has never seen anything like this before. Following a fire on the London Underground, three survivors seek her help – but although unmistakably traumatised, their stories don’t match the facts. Are they ‘faking it’? Sam’s confusion turns to horror when one by one, instead of recovering, they are driven to suicide.
When her lover, Conrad, begins to suffer the same terrifying flashbacks, Sam is desperate to find out what’s causing them. As a mysterious and chilling conspiracy begins to unravel the nightmares begin for Sam…
About the Author; AJ Waines is a number one bestselling author, topping the entire UK and Australian Kindle Charts in two consecutive years, with Girl on a Train, Following fifteen years as a psychotherapist, the author is now a full-time novelist with publishing deals in UK, France, Germany, Norway, Hungary and Canada (audio books).
Her fourth psychological thriller, No Longer Safe, sold over 30,000 copies in the first month, in thirteen countries. AJ Waines has been featured in The Wall Street Journal and The Times and has been ranked a Top 10 UK author on Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing).
Her next thriller, Lost in the Lake, will be re-released by Bloodhound Books on 24 October 2018.
Inside the Whispers – AJ Waines
Research for the Book:
‘If there’s one thing A.J Waines does perfectly it’s intrigue and suspense: 5 stars’
(Holly Kilminster, Bookaholic Confessions)
Inside the Whispers is based on chilling events at a London Hospital and introduces my series character, the gutsy Clinical Psychologist, Dr Samantha Willerby. Sam starts a new job treating patients with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, one of the conditions I came across when I worked as a Psychotherapist myself, in London.
At the start of Inside the Whispers, Sam has one-to-one consultations with survivors of a fire on the London Underground and I hope my own experiences working in this field help to bring authenticity to these scenes. Unlike in my own practice, however, Sam soon realises something is badly awry when her trauma patients recount their nightmares. Their stories don’t match the facts and Sam is swept into a mysterious and deadly game of Chinese whispers.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is intense. It can involve flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety and panic-attacks. It can lead individuals to feel jumpy, helpless, hopeless and even to consider taking their own lives. Listening to patients relive their stories and trying to imagine what that must have been like for them, can be an overwhelming job for a therapist. I found myself drained and often very upset after such sessions. In fact, there is a condition known as secondary trauma, where those who ‘listen to’ or work with those affected become traumatised themselves.
As a writer, I wanted to capture the essence of PTSD without using material that was too distressing! Inside the Whispers has been described as ‘tense and unsettling’, but never gory or violent – so no readers need to worry about that. Most of the drama in the book comes from the mystery and intrigue as Sam discovers there’s a malevolent conspiracy driving the unfolding of events. When her partner, Conrad, begins to suffer the same terrifying flashbacks, Sam is desperate to find out what’s causing them and before she can get to the bottom of it, she’s suffering the nightmares herself…
The River Thames:
When I first started sketching notes for Inside the Whispers, I’d already left London. It was largely a financial decision to go; my husband and I wanted to buy our own place with a garden, but the cost of a property – even in the areas of London where we didn’t want to live – was beyond us! With a heavy heart, we moved further along the south coast to Southampton. More recently, we’ve moved to a beautiful village, five minutes’ walk from the water’s edge, in Hampshire. Nevertheless, London is still my favourite city in the world. To me, it means glamour and dynamism – I feel the buzz the instant I step off the train at Waterloo. I feel like I become my ‘best self’ when I’m in London, as though anything is possible.
To keep my experiences of London alive, I decided to start a new series of psychological thrillers set there, with the first, Inside the Whispers, based around a fictitious hospital, St Luke’s at London Bridge, beside the Thames. The fast flowing river, with its distinctive bridges and high and low tides, also plays a big part in my debut novel, The Evil Beneath. In Lost in the Lake, the second book in the Dr Sam Willerby series, the action takes place partly in the Lake District and partly back in London and the next book in the Dr Sam series, Perfect Bones (to be published in November 2018, with Bloodhound Books), is set on a canal boat on Regent’s Canal in Camden. I realise now that waterways have become quite an obsession in my books I can’t seem to write about London without involving them!
The sea makes an appearance in one of my stand alone books, the domestic-noir thriller, Don’t you Dare. These days, I’m lucky enough to be able to see The Solent from my study window every day, so I think my obsession with water is set to continue!