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New chapter for an infamous local story

New chapter for an infamous local story

Sunday 24 July 2016

New chapter for an infamous local story

Sunday 24 July 2016

It was a story that made the Island infamous, making headlines around the world and now the Haut de la Garenne investigation has become the inspiration for a local author's first novel.

Gwen Garfield-Bennett covered the story as a local reporter in 2008 and has drawn on the experience for a novel, 'Islands'.

"I was covering the story for the BBC at the time and the shock that was felt by the whole island when the Haut de la Garenne investigation began, was palpable.

"As the investigation continued and the media frenzy died down, once it became clear there weren’t several murdered children buried there, it raised several big issues that I just couldn’t ignore. I started writing the book in 2009 but it is only this year that I decided to re-write it and get it published.” 


The novel is set in Jersey in 1976 and 2008 as the Haut de la Garenne police investigation began. As the Island faces up to its hidden past, the fictional characters are forced to face up to theirs. 

Mrs Garfield-Bennett said: “I think people relate to not only the characters, but their own experiences as they remember the events. This is not a book about Haut de la Garenne, that’s not my story to tell, this is about shared experiences, human emotion and the life struggles we can all face, but don’t always deal with in the right way.

The book has been published to rave reviews on Amazon, with readers describing it as the one to read this year.

Mrs Garfield-Bennett added: “It is selling really well, within two days of publication it jumped high up in the Amazon Kindle top sellers lists for my genre and the marketing campaign hasn’t begun yet. It has been truly humbling and so rewarding to get great reviews from people I’ve never met but who love the book.”

Her second novel, 'Lonely Hearts', is due to be published early next year.


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