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4.0 out of 5 stars
Promises to Keep: A Short Story
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 27 February 2014
I love Elizabeth Haynes’ novels, because through them she always tries to raise the readers’ consciousness of problems encountered by particular sectors of people in society. In ‘Into the Darkest Corner’, we are made aware of persons suffering from physical and psychological violence and OCD. ‘Human Remains’ urges us to take more care of lonely neighbours who might need our help.

With ‘Promises to Keep’, the author focuses on the difficulties encountered by asylum seekers and the systems through which they are processed. These people leave everything behind and risk their lives in order to try and start a new life in a foreign country.

We meet Jo, a civilian detention officer and her female partner Sam, a Detective Sergeant. Jo is currently on long term sick leave suffering from stress, caused by the death of a detained teenage asylum seeker whom she had promised to help. She goes out jogging in the woods to release tension and clear her mind. On one particular day, her usual jogging route takes an unexpected turn.

I think that this literary work is just the prequel to other novels to come as it ends quite abruptly with certain issues still unsolved. I enjoyed reading it, but I must advise all those that want to read it, that it is very short, just 6 chapters long.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I've read all of Elizabeth Haynes' novels to date. This had me settling down for an interesting police story and then pulled me up short not long after as the last page came upon me.

Asylum seekers and how they are treated forms the basis of this short and sad tale. Much promise for a longer story, especially with a pair of likeable police officers in Jo and Sam, who I wanted to learn more about, based on their characters here.

Maybe we will, as they are colleagues of Lou Smith, protagonist of Haynes' police procedural series. Let's hope so. They each deserve a lead role next time.

This reminds me why I don't read many short stories - too frustrating when they end!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This is a great short story of 40 pages that is challenging ones perceptions of how we deal with vulnerable child immigrants.

Sam is a detective and her partner Jo is a custody officer who is on sick leave. Jo is badly affected when Mohammed a 15 yr old dies in custody and his younger brother is out there somewhere. We see how this deeply affects her relationship with Sam. While out running she finds Mohammed's brother and takes him in, which breaks her relationship with Sam.

A great little story that questions are morals.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Jo a custody officer is haunted by the death of a young asylum seeker which she blames herself for. Her partner Sam is desperately trying to help her, but when Jo on her daily run stumbles across a young boy living rough in the woods she feels compelled to bring him to their home, a decision which threatens an already declining relationship.
Some very salient points are raised in this mini story, however in my opinion it really was too short and abrupt.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 24 February 2014
The hardest thing with short stories is being able to say a lot, without writing a lot but this is accomplished well in Promises to Keep. This story gives voice to an almost invisible issue in the UK of looked after children, in this case asylum seekers, that are being failed by the system. The characters speak volumes despite the short time we have to get to know them. For those that have read Under a Silent Moon, it's nice to get to know another character a bit more in this story - a great way to follow up the novel. Definitely read this if you have read Under a Silent Moon and if you haven't.. Read them both!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 24 September 2014
I was expecting a bit more of a story line. Didn't even realise It had finished so soon until I turned last page
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 25 April 2014
Yes, this short story makes me promise to keep reading everything written by Elizabeth Haynes. She is the new Mistress of Mystery. Every book she writes is a gripping page-turner. This short story introduces some of the characters in her latest novel 'Under a Silent Moon', out now in Kindle, the paper-back launches in May. Elizabeth also uses this as a springboard for two personal passions of her own, namely Spanish Rescue Dogs and help for illegal immigrant children.
Well done Elizabeth, on every count.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 March 2014
What a load of rubbish I really enjoyed the previous novels this author wrote this was badly written boring rubbish with 30 per cent of the book given over to plugging her new book don't bother!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 April 2014
So sorry, as I dislike being negative, but this didn't do it for me. Not sure why the author bothered as I believe she is a well followed author...............oh well..............
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on 26 May 2014
A fast paced look at the care given to young people seeking asylum in this country interlaced with the guilt of an officer unable to change the system.
The breakdown of the main character is mirrored in the relationship breakdown her partner is so desperately trying to hold together.
An enjoyable quick read that leaves you wanting more.
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