A migrant crisis. A corrupt harbour town.
Who will stand for those who have become invisible to the rest of the world?
People have become one of the world’s most valuable commodities. Trafficked on the promise of a new life only to be hidden away as modern day slaves. When Lena, a raped and badly beaten Syrian woman, literally falls into Lindsey Ryan’s life, she’s left with no choice but to find her part in this new war and play it as best she can.
But before she can work out a safe plan to get Lena away from her very own hell at the hands of Patrick Adebayo, Lindsey hears of an unconscious child being smuggled into Patrick’s building just two doors up. Despite having Patrick’s unwanted attention, she has to help the child and get Lena to safety regardless of the cost. In doing so, she finds herself face to face with the worst of humanity.
Added to her own private battle with PTSD, former soldier Lindsey Ryan is in a race against time and must once again fight for her life. But if she fails to protect those around her, what if anything, will that life be worth?
UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Invisible-Lindsey-Ryan-thrillers/dp/1838457747
US – https://www.amazon.com/Invisible-psychological-thriller-Lindsey-thrillers-
Soldiers & Mental Health
PTSD is a strong theme in the Lindsey Ryan series. But aside from the effects of war, death and destruction on soldiers – the day to day life of a soldier serving in conflict zones in itself can have a huge effect on their mental health. Here are some of the things that most people don’t think about. This article is taken from my own experience.
Firstly, there’s a lack of sleep thanks to the shelling that took place almost on a nightly basis. As red tracer rounds lit up the night sky above us; an Irish company being pummelled by heavy artillery, blowing out generators, leaving craters in the road, direct hits to just about every corner of the tiny camp that they called home. The un-exploded mortar round that would have taken out an occupied accommodation block had it functioned as it should have. The adrenaline that courses through the body as you call in a Med-Evac for two of your friends, while also having to state that the area was still red, meaning that the Med-Evac couldn’t come any time soon. The feeling of relief and camaraderie the next day as camp gets re-built and jokes are cracked about “the look on your face when …”
These are the situations that soldiers are very well trained for. Civilians don’t talk about these details much, because they don’t really know. These aren’t things that soldiers pick up the phone about. No-one wanted their parents, partners, friends, families worrying about their safety, so if the story doesn’t make the news, then they never know. If it does, then the standard response is along the lines of “oh that was miles away from where I am.”
So what about the bits that the army can’t train you for? Did you know that a rumour can make it from Ireland to Lebanon or vice versa, faster than Uber Eats can deliver a curry? I’ve seen soldiers much stronger than me almost drive themselves insane about the fact that their partner was “seen with someone else”. Men have come off the phone from their wives after being told that the bailiffs were at the door, threatening to take away their family home. A soldier who’s kid was being bullied at school. Parents with health problems, relationships breaking down … the list goes on and what can anyone do about it? Nothing. It’s all happening thousands of miles away and a soldier’s head needs to be very much in the game when they work in a war zone.
Soldiers often return home to a very different reality to the one that they left. But even if everything at home is the same, they see things differently now because of the experiences that they’ve had and other people can never really understand any of it. Simple things like walking through the aisles of your local supermarkets while your partner discusses the merits of custard creams over Hob-Nobs, can feel very, very wrong all of a sudden now that you know what’s going on in that tiny village that no-one else in the biscuit aisle has ever heard of. Add to that our culture of not talking about any of it, particularly if it becomes a struggle and there you have it!
The Invisible tells the story of Lindsey Ryan, a former soldier trying to adjust to civilian life four years after being severely injured on a UN patrol in Syria. Keeping her PTSD to herself is priority, but the manner in which she chooses to counteract it will eventually cause her two worlds to collide.
Born and raised in the harbour town of Cobh, Co Cork, Michelle joined the Irish army at the age of 18, where she went from recruit, to infantry soldier, to Peacekeeper
with the UN, to instructor back home in Ireland.
During her time in Lebanon, she got to experience first hand the camaraderie
between soldiers and the sense of humour that got them all through some frightening
situations. She also got to experience how ordinary families tried to live in conflict
zones and these experiences have inspired so much of her work to date.
The Invisible is Michelle’s fourth book, but the second in The Lindsey Ryan series,
following on from While Nobody is Watching, which is currently in development for television and inspired by her military experiences and the types of relationships that form within army ranks.