Book review: The Silent Witness

THIS book reads like fiction, but it is based on author Casey Watson’s memoirs as a specialist foster carer.

She and husband Mike look after children who are troubled or damaged by their past.

They guide the children through a specially-designed behavioural programme, enabling them to be moved on, either back to their parents or into mainstream foster care.

This is her 14th book based on her experience as a foster carer, and tells the tale of 12-year-old Bella, who witnessed a horrific incident of violence.

Her step-father is in intensive care, apparently beaten with a brick by Bella’s mother, who is being charged with attempted murder. She is claiming self-defence, but things are not looking good.

And Bella is so traumatised that she cannot, or will not, speak about what she saw.

She is placed with Casey and Mike on Christmas Eve and in the midst of the holidays, an upcoming wedding in the family, not to mention strange letters and visits from a ‘concerned’ citizen warning her to mind her own business, Casey must somehow try and calm the frightened girl down and give her enough security that she may finally tell the truth of what happened.

Reading Watson’s account of her experience is both insightful and touching.

This is an absolutely brilliant book.