Copyright, all rights reserved, Laura J Church, 2016
Faultlines is an upmarket commercial fiction novel with elements of domestic noir. It explores the impact of the ‘butterfly effect’ in a single, unravelling life and in a world of deepening divisions. At its heart is Kate, and her journey towards – and beyond - a crime that triggers seismic aftershocks. Set in South London in 2016 and Washington DC in 2017, Faultlines pivots on issues of identity, motherhood and marriage; the domestic underpins the global. This book may appeal to readers who enjoyed Renee Knight’s Disclaimer, Paula Mclain’s The Paris Wife, or the conversation-starting fiction of Jodi Picoult. It is approximately 80,000 words long.
Formerly an award-winning investigative journalist based in Brighton, 38-year-old Kate is smart, frank, and at times, impulsive. Her transition into marriage and motherhood on a South London military housing patch is turbulent, awash with self-doubt and post-natal anxiety. Kate’s husband, Ben, is a calm, supportive, and career-driven Special Forces officer. Ben’s short-notice deployment to the Middle East leaves Kate alone with their twin baby girls, battling her own imagination as she lies awake night after night, watching 24-hour TV news.
Faultlines begins with Kate going into criminal court to plead guilty to a crime for which she has been universally vilified. As we learn of the factors that brought her to this moment, the tragic consequences that Kate faces come into sharp focus: not only are her marriage and family in jeopardy, but the precariousness of a wider world has been exposed. Lives have been lost, divisions in communities polarised, and London is on high alert for a terrorist attack. Initially, imprisonment seems the worst case scenario for a mother of young children, but a furious press and fired-up public appear determined to deliver a sentence of their own.