Please welcome Linda Hubers, all the way from her Switzerland home, to tell readers about her newest mystery:

Death Wish is a tale of two neighbouring families in Glasgow, Scotland. In one house we have Martine and Stu, and their eight-year-old daughter Joya. Martine’s mother is coming to live with them, and while Joya is delighted that Grandma Vee will soon be here, Martine is facing the most difficult time of her life, because Vee has Huntington’s Disease. Which is incurable, and fatal. And hereditary.

The only way for Martine to be sure that she and Joya don’t carry the gene is to take a test. The chances are fifty-fifty, and Martine knows she wouldn’t cope with a positive result. Not only this, but Vee has asked Martine for help to die. . .

Next door, Ashley and Leo have their own problems. Leo has gone into business with Ashley’s mother, Eleanor, and Eleanor is now blackmailing him into allowing her to live in their annexe. Meanwhile, Ashley has her own reasons for hating her mother, and insists that Eleanor should leave. But if she does, her investment in the business might go with her . . .

Joya is the link between the two troubled families, and flits from one house to the other, not understanding all that’s going on, and unwittingly multiplying the problems the adults are facing.

As a young physiotherapist, I worked for a couple of years in a hospital specialising in neurology and neurosurgery. Huntington’s disease has always fascinated me – it’s a condition that most people have heard of, vaguely, but few appreciate the life-changing effect this illness has on families.

What would you do, faced with a fifty-fifty chance of having inherited a fatal illness newly-diagnosed in a parent? Would you want to know? The cruel thing about Huntington’s is that it doesn’t break out until well into adulthood, by which time sufferers often have children and grandchildren, who then inherit their own fifty-fifty chance of having the disease. I don’t know what I’d do, in Martine’s situation.

I enjoyed writing Death Wish, partly because of exploring the Huntington’s aspects, partly because the setting is in my old home town, and partly because of Joya. My books all contain child characters, but this was the first time I’ve given a child a ‘voice’ in the story. It was fascinating, writing Joya’s parts, thinking how a child might think, finding out what she would do.

Another interesting issue is – I live in Switzerland. Here, unlike in the UK, where the book is set, assisted suicide for medical reasons is legal. It’s a difficult moral area, and people have their own ideas about what’s right and what’s wrong, but it’s certainly worth a lot of thought. What would we do, in Martine’s situation, and faced with Vee’s death wish? I still don’t know.

Linda grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, but went to work in Switzerland for a year aged twenty-two, and has lived there ever since. Her day jobs have included working as a physiotherapist in hospitals and schools for handicapped children, and teaching English in a medieval castle. Not to mention several years spent as a full-time mum to two boys, a rescue dog, and a large collection of guinea pigs.
Her writing career began in the nineties, when she had over fifty short stories published in women’s magazines. Several years later, she discovered the love of her writing life – psychological suspense fiction. Her seventh novel, Death Wish, was published by Bloodhound Books in August 2017.
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