Circus therapy – the answer to war trauma ?

So-called “circotherapy”, developed two years ago in Finland, is today proving successful in helping to rehabilitate Syrian youngsters and adults traumatised by war and homelessness. Originally developed to treat Finnish youngsters with behavioural and emotional problems, Sirkus Magenta, based in Helsinki, began a new project this March, sending twenty trainers to the Middle East to work with PTSD sufferers, the bereaved and homeless.At refugee camps they have been teaching survivors skills ranging from stilt walking and acrobatics to high-wire walking, juggling and uni-cycling. Because it involves teamwork, courage and trust, young people especially, as they learn, soon develop confidence, become less shy and  withdrawn, more outgoing and responsive to others. The trainers also work with entire families, disabled and older people.  Sirkus Magenta recently teamed up with representatives of Finn Church Aid to help refugees at Jordan’s Za’atari camp. An inspiring example of how mastering physical skills can calm troubled minds and repair a fractured psyche under even the most deplorable circumstances.

Manhattan Murder Mystery

My new book is now available for Kindle … Manhattan Murder Mystery, from Amazon.

When New York heiress Irene Silverman vanishes from her Upper East Side mansion, the case sparks a major criminal investigation.

A fifty-strong team of FBI and NYPD officers scours the city’s streets in vain for evidence or sign of a body, becoming caught up in one of the most perplexing mysteries in New York’s criminal history. Detectives soon hit a dead end. Is she dead, or alive?

When an elderly woman, Sante Kimes, and her son Kenny, are arrested in another part of town on minor fraud charges, the Silverman case takes a chilling twist. Are the couple connected to her? An eagle-eyed NYPD officer thinks so. As police teams around the USA probe the background of Sante and Kenny Kimes, reports of a horrifying crime spree materialise, linking the couple to property theft, fraud, kidnapping and multiple murders throughout the country, for which they have so far escaped arrest.

Eventually, the couple’s deadliest and most audacious plot is exposed. The Kimeses have come to New York for one reason only, and soon they are charged with the murder of Irene Silverman. It is Manhattan’s “trial of the century”. But the mystery remains. Irene Silverman’s body has never been found, and her last moments and cause of death are still unknown.

Mystery of the Black Swan

In Spring 1804, four Spanish frigates set sail for home from Montevideo to Cádiz. In October a British squadron sank the Mercedes off Portugal’s shores. A new era of deep-sea exploration is uncovering some historic shipwrecks. But who gets the spoils? Mystery of the Black Swan.