Judith Cutler

Head Count

My new character Jane Cowan hasn't had an easy life, and I'm afraid the next few months aren't going to be easy either – not when she's the victim of a hit-and-run driver right at the start of the summer holiday. In a town there'd be plenty of CCTV coverage – but in the depths of the Kent countryside people can get away with murder. And try to, since this, of course, is a crime novel.

Who should Jane fear? Her violent ex is always a possibility, of course, but now she seems surrounded by friends, people who should be supporting her. She's improved her village school so much she's had to take on responsibility for a failing one in the next village; she's developed links with the community; she's even become a regular umpire on the village cricket circuit.

As you can see this isn't a book just about cricket, but it does refer among other things to a charity very dear to my heart, Chance to Shine. I've seen for myself how playing cricket can transform young lives. Chance to Shine is a national initiative to bring cricket to children who might otherwise not get a chance to play – perhaps their school playing fields have been sold or perhaps they have to play in the street. Among other invaluable aims it encourages girls to realise they have the same capacity as boys – indeed, the best child I ever coached was a girl.

To read more about Chance to Shine go to www.chancetoshine.org. Donate if you can. And enjoy your cricket.


Allison & Busby


20 October 2017