I held my breath, and I heard it too: the gentle sound of a door opening slowly and the crunch of something under a shoe. We froze, and my heart pounded.
Prolific political author, Maggie Allder, returns with her latest novel Living with the Leopard. Following on from Courting Rendition (Matador, 2015), Maggie combines political awareness, adventure and a profound but non-dogmatic spirituality as we follow the story of a newly married couple.
Life looks promising for Carrie and Tom even though they belong to a religious organisation deemed ‘extremist’ by the right-wing government of their day. They belong in a stable community and are, to some extent, sheltered from the poverty and discrimination which surrounds them. However, all that changes when the couple are invited to take part in activities to help the hungry-activities considered subversive by those in authority.
Soon, they find themselves out of their depth, subject to a raid from the dreaded ATTF (Anti-Terrorist Task Force). They find themselves involved in the ‘overground’, the escape route organised to help dissidents to get away and go on to shelter a wanted person in their own home. The situation worsens when Carrie becomes ill and is threatened with total benefit cuts because her behaviour is considered feckless, and the couple can no longer tell whom within their community they can trust. Their faith is challenged and their marriage is threatened by the stress. Eventually, escape seems to be the only option, but they need to get away and take a gamble on who they can trust...