They Are Trying to Break Your Heart
by David Savill

They Are Trying to Break Your Heart

Bloomsbury

In 1994, Marko Novak’s world is torn apart by the death of his best friend. Kemal Lekic, a young soldier in the darkest days of the Bosnian war, is killed in the shelling of their home town. But his body is never recovered. After the funeral, Marko flees to England, hoping to put his broken homeland, and the part he played in the loss of his friend, behind him.  In 2004, human rights researcher Anya Teal is following a tenuous lead in the hunt for a Bosnian man with blood on his hands. She is also clinging to the fragile hope that she can rebuild a relationship with her first love, William Howell.  When Anya invites Will to join her on a Christmas holiday in the Thai beach resort of Kao Lak, her motives are not entirely pure. She hopes the holiday will offer them the chance to unpick the mistakes of their past, but Kao Lak may also be home to the man Anya is looking for-a man with a much darker history.  What no-one can know, is that a disaster as destructive as a war is approaching, detonated in the sea-bed of the Indian Ocean. It is a disaster that will connect the fates of Marko, William and Anya, across the years and continents. In its wake, everything Marko thought he knew will be overturned.

Praise from the Desmond Elliott Prize

“Multiplicity is the name of the narrative game here, as David Savill abundantly demonstrates. His expansive work is explicitly parcelled out in time and space, thirty-one times one way, twice as many the other: a massive nugget of prose precisely facetted, reflecting the myriad political events which were the author’s special study.”

About the Author

In the last year of the Bosnian war, David Savill lived as a teacher and a student among the refugees of Srebrenica, helping to organise a summer university for students in the safe-haven of Tuzla. Over the past fifteen years he has returned to Bosnia several times. Tuzla, and the real story of its ‘Youth Day’ massacre, became the inspiration for the fictional town of Stovnik. In an eight-year career as a BBC Current Affairs journalist, David worked on Panorama, This World, Real Story, The World at One and PM. In 2004, he arrived on the beaches of Phuket two days after the Indian Ocean Tsunami. He spent the next six months in Thailand and Sri Lanka, where he made two documentaries about the aftermath of the disaster. David now has two children and teaches Creative Writing at the University of Salford in Manchester.