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Book News: After Leaving the Village by Helen Matthews #suspense #humantraffic

Good afternoon,
We're very excited about the imminent launch of a new suspense thriller tackling polemic themes of human trafficking, infidelity, immigration and family dynamics in a society obsessed with the Internet - rather than what is happening right next door! Helen Matthews is an award-winning writer and this is her first published novel, from the dynamic new publishing house Hashtag Press. PDF copies are available for review, printed copies will be available by the end of September upon request. Helen Matthews lives in Hampshire and is officially launching the book in Europe's biggest bookshop - Waterstones Piccadilly - on October 11th. Free press passes are available for this event (it is a ticketed event selling at £10 per person):

Helen Matthews is also doing signings and events at various bookshops including Waterstones Basingstoke on 16th October and Waterstones Farnham in November.

The foreword in After Leaving the Village has been written by the director of Unseen, a charity that helps victims of human trafficking. The charity has been hugely supportive of the book launch and Helen is keen to bring the topic of human trafficking to the fore through the media and the publication of her book.

One reviewer said: "After Leaving the Village is a brilliant, bold, eye-opening suspense thriller, which leaves you stunned. We all know human trafficking is happening, but most of us are so caught up in our own daily family dramas that we don't see what is right under our noses. The harsh reality for Odeta, tricked into coming to England from Albania, is laid bare in the pages of this thrilling new novel."

We'd love to hear what you think of this new book. A percentage of profits from pre-orders of After Leaving the Village will be donated to Unseen. The book is available to purchase online and in all good bookshops, the eBook is available from publication date (October 12th). Helen Matthews is available for interview and editorial commissions.

Kind regards,
Helen Lewis
Literally PR Ltd  


After Leaving the Village

By Helen Matthews

[image]Two women. Two villages. Different destinies. Odeta's life has shrunk to a daily round of drudgery, running her father's grocery store in a remote Albanian village. One day a stranger from Tirana walks into the shop and promises her a new career in London. Odeta's life is about to change, but not in the way she expected. Journalist Kate lives on a quiet London street and seems to have a perfect life but she worries about her son Ben, who struggles to make friends. Kate blames the internet and disconnects her family from the online world so they can get to know their neighbours. On a visit to her home village in Wales, Kate is forced to confront a secret from her past. But greater danger lies closer to home. Perhaps Kate's London neighbours are not the friendly community they seem.

Written by the winner of Winchester Writers' Festival prize for the opening pages of a novel, Helen Matthews, ‘After Leaving the Village' is an absorbing story of deception, guilt, betrayal and the resilience of the human spirit. Helen Matthews's respect for the country of Albania and commitment to raising awareness about the significant problem of human trafficking in the UK combine to create a terrifying story that could happen on any street... in any town... at any time.

"A captivating and accurate portrayal of trafficking and exploitation. Slavery is not a thing of the past. This story is common - the promise of more, the prospect of adventure and escape, the frenzy of falling in love..." -- Kate Garbers, Founder and Director, Unseen


About the Author

Helen Matthews is the author of debut novel ‘After Leaving the Village', winner of the Winchester Writers' Festival prize for opening pages of a novel. Born in Cardiff, she read English at the University of Liverpool. After travelling, she worked in international development, consultancy, human resources and pensions management but fled corporate life to pursue her dream of becoming a writer. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from Oxford Brookes University. Helen has been awarded prizes for short stories and published in the literary journal Artificium. As a freelancer, she writes content for websites and business magazines and has, in the past, been published in The Guardian and had columns broadcast on BBC radio. She is married with two grown-up children and lives in Hampshire.


Talking points raised by After Leaving the Village:

  1. Human trafficking - how it happens and could be happening in your village.

  2. Culture and society in Albania.

  3. Family dynamics, parenting concerns about the development of our children, whether they're ‘OK', have enough friends, are doing well enough in school...the pressures we put on ourselves and our kids.

  4. Our reliance on technology, and our difficulty ‘letting go' of the Internet.




Title:After Leaving the Village

Author:Helen Matthews

Publisher:Hashtag Press

Publication date:12/10/17

Availability:Paperback, eBook, International distribution

Category:Thriller, Suspense


Price: £7.99


Press folder:

Online profile:






For more information, editorial opportunities, interview requests or review copies please get in touch (0) 7904801669