20 February 2017


  • this edition published by Constable 2016
  • ISBN 978-1-4721-1800-4
  • 264 pages
  • source: my local library
  • author website
Synopsis (Fantastic Fiction)

Passengers boarding the 10.35 train from Manchester Piccadilly to London Euston have no idea that their journey is about to be brutally curtailed.

Holly has just landed her dream job, and Jeff is heading for an interview after months of unemployment. They end up sitting next to each other. Onboard customer service assistant Naz dreams of better things. And among the others travelling are Nick with his young family; pensioner Meg and her partner, setting off on a walking holiday; Caroline, run ragged by the competing demands of her stroppy teenage children and her demented mother; and Rhona, desperate to get home to her daughter.

And in the middle of the carriage sits Saheel, carrying a deadly rucksack....

My Take

Cath Staincliffe takes us onto an ordinary train from Manchester to Euston and introduces us to a selection of passengers, warts and all. There are 8 passengers whom we get to know well. They all have problems but these pale into insignificance against the fact that Saheel, a British born Muslim turned jihadist is carrying a bomb that he intends to let off in Euston station. We, the readers, realise that the train is in danger but only one of the passengers realises that something is wrong.

The second half of the book deals with the aftermath of the "incident".
If you think I'm being a bit miserly with details it is because I want you to experience the book for yourself.
Let me tell you though that really did get to the stage that I didn't want to put it down. I wanted to know how things panned out. It will make you think too.

My rating: 4.7

See another review

About the author
Cath Staincliffe's first crime novel, Looking for Trouble, was short-listed for the CWA's best first novel award and was serialized on Radio 4's Woman's Hour. Since then she has written several crime novels, all of which have been very well reviewed. Cath Staincliffe was adopted as a baby in England and has in recent years been reunited with her Irish birth-family. Although Trio is not autobiographical, it contains elements of Cath's own story, and is evidently written from the heart. 

In 2006 Cath was short-listed for the CWA Dagger in the Library.  In 2012 Cath won the CWA Short Story Dagger for Laptop, sharing the prize with Margaret Murphy with her story The Message. Both stories featured in Best Eaten Cold, a Murder Squad anthology.  And in 2014 Cath was short-listed for the CWA Short Story Dagger again for Night Nurse from the anthology Deadly Pleasures.

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