PRESS RELEASE: Timely Novel Set in a Domestic Violence Refuge by Oldham Writer Highlights Domestic Abuse Figures

How to Play Dead

Jacqueline Ward, a published novelist living in the 19th most deprived area in the UK, will have her psychological thriller, How to Play Dead, published on 7th November 2019. The novel, published by Corvus Atlantic Books, is set in a domestic violence refuge and follows the stories of four women told from the perspective of the manager of the refuge, Ria Taylor.

Although this is a work of fiction, Jacqueline wrote this novel loosely based on her experiences on the management board of a former women’s refuge which was closed due to lack of funding in 2015. Domestic violence is experienced by one in four women in the UK in their lifetimes and two women per week are killed in domestic violence incidents. The Domestic Abuse Bill 2019 is currently progressing through Parliament and will be discussed further later in 2019.  Greater Manchester Police’s approach to tackling domestic abuse document begins with the words ‘The extent and nature of domestic abuse remains shocking’ and states that 6% of all calls for assistance were for domestic abuse and of these 16% were repeat offences. Early reviews for the novel on expert reviewer site NetGalley have called the novel ‘heart-wrenching’, ‘realistic’, ‘hard-hitting’ and one that ‘every woman should read’.

Jacqueline, who grew up in Oldham and worked full-time while a single-parent, now has an MBE and is CEO of a charity dealing with high hazard safety. Oldham has recently slipped from 34th to 19th most deprived borough. She has been writing fiction for most of her life, with her last novel, Perfect Ten, focussing on gas lighting and revenge, receiving national reviews and was stocked by most major supermarkets as well as bookshops. A registered Health Psychologist, Jacqueline writes widely about psychology and storytelling. Prior to her two-book deal with Corvus Atlantic Books, Jacqueline won US writing competition Kindle Scout and had a crime series published. She also writes short stories and screenplays.

Jacqueline said, ‘I wanted to be clear about what domestic violence and control really is. Although domestic abuse a difficult subject, raising awareness of it through storytelling with fictional characters is one way that everyone can find out what really happens. The rose-coloured spectacles are off in How to Play Dead. This is the real deal.’

How to Play Dead will be available online and in bookstores on 7th November 2019.

Jacqueline is represented by Judith Murray at Greene and Heaton Media, Film and Literary Agency. For interviews, photographs, articles, or quotes in the first instance please email
Phone: 07925552553


How to Play Dead in Waterstones
How to Play Dead in WH Smiths
How to Play Dead on Amazon
How to Play Dead Reviews on NetGalley
Refuge Domestic Violence- The Facts
Domestic Abuse Bill 2019
Oldham Council Report on 2019 Indices of Deprivation
Greater Manchester Police approach to Tackling Domestic Abuse