Waking Broken

Women are dying… and Danny Harper’s life is in pieces.

Everything is going perfectly for young journalist Danny Harper: a new flat, a career on the up and the girl he loves about to marry him. Then he wakes in hospital to find none of it’s true.

Refusing to admit he’s imagined it all, Harper tries to regain his lost life. But, while his claims are initially dismissed as delusion, he knows secrets that can’t be easily explained.


Waking BrokenWaking sm is the story of what happens when two parallel universes collide – one world where Danny Harper’s life is a success, the other where it’s a mess.

When Harper is involved in an accident his lives flip: the failure ends up in hospital in a coma, the success wakes in a world where all the important things in his life are missing.

“When the feeling comes it is like a flood… a faint prickling in his palms and then it is everywhere: swelling up, consuming his thoughts, sweeping through his body. It is fire and ice: a storm of calmness, a torrent of silence. It is the rapture and it has come to sweep him away…”

Stuck in the ‘wrong’ life, Harper starts trying to deal with this new, alternative existence. But in the process he has to deal with something that casts a new perspective on his problem – a deranged killer with a fanatical obsession for the ‘sins of woman’.

In Danny Harper’s ‘real’ world, the killer has already been caught. But in this alternative world – due in part to a mistake by the ‘other’ Harper – the killings have so far gone undetected. And the latest victim is a complete innocent.

Origin of the idea

The original idea for the novel came from a dream. It was a particularly vivid dream in which my wife and I were no longer married and she didn’t know me – even though I knew we’d been married before. In my dream I was trying to convince her that we should be married.

It all seemed quite logical in the dream – it was a bit frustrating to find I was back to square one with her and that she didn’t seem that bothered about it!

Anyway, from that dream came a short story called Fractured Lives – which appears in my short story collection of the same name. To read the original story, click Fractured Lives.

I later expanded the short story into a novel when I started to think more about the potential implications of the person from one ‘reality’ knowing other things that either weren’t true in this alternative ‘reality’ – or having knowledge that gave them an insight into events other than their personal situation.

Eventually that dream of mine transformed into a full-length novel about a hunt for a serial killer. It was first published in December 2012 under the title Thin Ice.

However, some readers found the original ending a bit abrupt and confusing. So, in late 2013, I decided to revise the book and add a longer ending – plus give it a new title and cover.


Danny Harper thinks he’s news editor of the city’s daily paper and engaged to be married. But his fiancee hardly knows him and even his friend, photographer Brendan Teague, says Danny’s just a lowly reporter with a drink problem.

Rebecca Shah is in a rut. There’s no romance in her life and she’s fed up with the PR firm where she works. When an eccentric client offers her a new job as his personal assistant she jumps at the chance.

‘Lord’ Paul Cash is a wealthy painter almost as famous for his eccentricity and debauched lifestyle as for his art. He’s also got plans for an ambitious project that’s a major departure from any previous work.

Nelson Cole runs a string of legitimate operations as well as some shadier concerns. Now he wants his police contact, DI Robert Glasgow, to find his missing sister, a high-class prostitute.

Isiah Van Hulle is a property developer with a conscience – an ardent churchman behind the country’s biggest social housing project. But corrupt city councillor John Harrison can’t swallow Van Hulle’s whiter-than-white public persona.


If you’ve read the book then I  hope you enjoyed Waking Broken. Questions and comments are always welcome – you can either post a message on this page, contact me via Facebook or send an email to huwdthomas@hotmail.co.uk

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