So I was lucky enough to review Unspoken Truths a couple of weeks back (you can read my review here) but today I’m bringing you an exclusive guest post from the lovely author herself on mental health. First a little about the book:
Title: Unspoken Truths by Liz Mistry
Publisher: Bloodhound Books
Date Published: 29th October 2018
Genre: Police Procedural
DI Gus McGuire and his team navigate a complex web of intrigue, espionage and murder.
In Bradford, Manchester and on Saddleworth Moor, Gus will be pushed to his physical and psychological limits.
First a train between Manchester and Bradford is deliberately derailed by a vehicle carrying drugs, then a woman’s tortured body is discovered in Keighley.
But when Gus’ brother-in-law goes missing, the investigation becomes personal.
As he battles against the storms of the Beast from the East, Gus must uncover the links between the dead woman, a pharmaceutical company in Manchester and a research facility in Northern Cyprus, as well as the reason behind the disappearance of his brother in law. With the body count increasing, Gus sets his team loose on the Dark Web but how will Gus react when he discovers that things are not as they seem?
Meanwhile, DS Alice Cooper faces extreme danger in prison and, as the evidence mounts against her, Gus and his team’s loyalties are pushed to the limit.
Can Gus stop the blueprint for a deadly bio weapon from falling into the wrong hands? Can he solve a series of murders and track down a psychotic killer?
Guest Post: Unspoken Truths, Mental Health and Me.
I make no secret of my own battles with mental ill health and my ongoing struggles to maintain good health. And it is for this reason that, in my writing I always try to highlight some areas of Mental health.
Mental Health is a very non – specific way to discuss the myriad of conditions out there. There are as diverse a range of Mental health conditions out there as there are physical conditions and no one size fits all.
In Unspoken Truths I got to thinking about the Mental Health of various characters in the novel. Statistics show that many rough sleepers also suffer from a range of mental health issues and with the emphasis in Unspoken Truths being on the extreme weather conditions caused by The Beast from the East, I was keen to highlight some of the issues faced by people suffering from schizophrenia with no access to their meds. Alongside the two rough sleepers found outside The Fort, I wanted to give a nod to the initiative of having Mental health nurses on call to assist the Police in providing the right sort of care for people they come across. This means that instead of spending a night in the cells, frightened and without help geared to their needs, people with mental health disorders will get the help they need.
Likewise, I wanted to highlight how Bradford’s many communities came together in this crisis situation to care for the less fortunate. Community is a powerful and beautiful thing that should always be praised when it does great work.
My character, Alice Cooper, is particularly loved by readers. She is gutsy, strong and charismatic (she’s all the things I wish I was.) However, in Unspoken Truths a series of extreme events take place which really tests Alice’s mental resilience. As a result of various traumas, Alice begins to suffer from depersonalisation – that lack of ability to connect with her surroundings, the people around her and the circumstances in which she finds herself. This sort of mental trauma leads to physical symptoms which are frightening and set in motion a vicious cycle of being unable to ground yourself or lift yourself from extreme apathy. I hope that the things I put Alice through and her responses to it will help to highlight these issues.
My main man Gus struggles to battle his demons. He has come a long way since Unquiet Souls, but still continues to battle to keep his head above water. He has adopted many strategies to help his mental health. The most obvious is his absolute dedication to the job – Gus can only feel well if he is policing. This is a reflection of myself – I can only feel well when I am writing – In effect my job helps to keep me sane too. Gus also has other things in his life to help his mental health. His little dog Bingo raises his mood and h physical exercise through jogging is a must for Gus. So, in Unspoken Truths, poor Gus is really struggling as the weather conditions make it impossible for him to self -medicate by jogging.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading a little bit about Unspoken Truths, Mental Health, and Me.
bout Liz Mistry:
Liz writes crime fiction books set in Bradford, West Yorkshire. The DI Gus McGuire series is gritty Northern noir with a bit of Scottish thrown in. She is currently researching for a Ph. D in creative writing at Leeds Trinity University. As part of her Ph.D she is researching how the teen killer’s voice is portrayed in the adult crime fiction novel with specific reference to the influence of teen social media usage, with a view to writing a crime fiction novel around these issues.
Liz also teaches creative writing, specialising in crime fiction and is a regular panellist at literary festivals throughout the UK. She enjoys reading her work at Open Mic and Noir at the Bar events. She was chosen to be one of the spotlighted authors at the Bloody Scotland crime writing festival in 2016. She is the lead blogger for the well renowned crime fiction blog The Crime warp which reviews contemporary, mainly UK based, crime fiction, comments on current issues around the genre and creative writing in general and interviews authors on a regular basis.
She is available to comment on current issues around creative writing in general and crime fiction in particular and to speak at local and national festivals and conferences
Liz’s Social Media Links: