Why you must read AP Barratt’s Hudud and Escape
Hudud and Escape introduces Yasmin, a Muslim girl from Pakistan who takes flight from her family home after losing favour with her father while he attempts to pour acid on her face. She runs away from her small town only to be ensnared by people traffickers. Lured in by the promise of a new life in Britain, Yasmin’s desperation for freedom as a strong and independent woman is destroyed by forced prostitution and false imprisonment in Edinburgh.
It is Lachlan who Yasmin finds herself captured by, he is the psychopath running his only miniature empire of sexual slavery. Lachlan’s obsession with technology has also given him a strength unlike others in his trade. Stolen login credentials for a database belonging to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs have allowed him to hide his victims within plain sight with apparent legal working status. The theft of this data left behind injuries though.
Adam, the software developer who’s phone contained the login details, has been left traumatised from his mugging. He fears the outside world but only his knowledge, combined with the strength Yasmin must find in her faith, can topple Lachlan’s power over his victims.
Hudud and Escape is a thriller with just the right amount of religion to inspire, tech to keep things modern and of course, murder, theft, rape and slavery to appal all of us and keep us desperate for escape.
I’m interested in different religions and also in the fight for equality and feminism. It was through this that I discovered jihad, a name sometimes used for the struggle of women fighting to have the same rights and treatment as men. I really wanted to write stories that had this theme at their centre and so Hudud and Escape was born, the first of a trilogy though it reads as a stand alone book.
What kind of readers will this novel appeal to?
Anyone who likes to be sucked in by a character’s story. This is for people who know the modern world, who read the news online, who follow the horror of abuses abroad and who want to get a glimpse of the gritty world of human sex trafficking.
Are there any other characters we need to meet?
Martin works for GCHQ, Britain’s version of the NSA. He’s not good with eye contact or people in general but it’s his job to track down what’s going on with the stolen government login credentials.
Have you written any other books?
Not yet but I am writing the second in this series which is proving more difficult as large quantities of it are based in Afghanistan so I keep having to stop to do research that I’ve missed out in my planning. I’ve also got a lonely rhinoceros stomping around in my head who’s waiting for me to write his story in a children’s book which I hope to do later this year.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a software developer by day, writer and hobbyist photographer by night. Living in Edinburgh, Scotland where this story is based. I’ve always enjoyed writing stories though this was the first attempt of a novel that actually turned out to be something I could be proud of.
Do you have a website?
My blog for posts of all kinds, including about my writing, is at http://www.andybarratt.co.uk and I also have one set up specifically for this book at http://www.hududandescape.com where I have posted a basic trailer to get people in the mood.
What about social media?
Two books to finish this trilogy, then my children’s book for my lonesome mountain dwelling rhinoceros and after that, I plan to keep a couple of the characters from this first series but for a new story line.