Winner of:
Hot Off My Kindle Award 2016

A Perception of Sin

Juliet Cromwell

A Perception of Sin: Synopsis

If you have ever loved a child,
known the faithfulness of a dog,
felt the pain of a broken heart
or the desire for something that is not yours…
then this dark tale of forbidden sex, loneliness and love is for you.

A Perception of Sin begins in modern-day London with a suicide bomb attack aboard an underground train. During the subsequent forensic investigation, DNA taken from one of the victims will reveal a terrible secret.

A Perception of Sin

This book traverses the horrors of Bergen-Belsen, suicide and violent death as it explores the idea that a true sense of sin is intrinsic to a moral existence, yet is often malleable and slippery to grasp.

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An exceptional book!

What an amazing book! Cleverly linking the characters of several generations this is a portrayal of every kind of sin. It doesn’t assess or deem to categorise the immensity of the sin, it merely shows us and leaves the ‘perception’ of their severity to the reader. It is characterisation at its most perfect and demonstrates the author’s understanding of humanity. Exceptional! It is one of those books you cannot stop thinking about even when put down and making the dinner, your thoughts are perusing the complexities of the story. If this is the author’s first book it promises of more to come. Juliet Cromwell is an exceptional writer. Pat McDonald British Crime Author
Pat McDonaldon On 10 Dec 2016


A brilliantly written pyschological patchwork of different people's lives and their effect on each other. Starting off in the 1930s and ending up in present day, this heart-breaking story grips you from the first page. I couldn't put it down! One of the best stories I've read this year. A well deserved five stars.
Karen on 29 Aug 2016

A Perception of Sin. Complex, Dark - Captured my interest.

I liked this book very much. The story explores the complex motivations behind peoples' actions, and I found myself drawn into the intertwined lives of the characters. I was amused by the honeymoon awkwardness of Mum and Dad, moved by poignancy of Edward's letter, and loved the stout loyalty of Neb. My heart was in my mouth as the book moved towards its conclusion, and would recommend it to everyone.
Amazon Customer on 30 Aug 2016

Fantastic, beautifully written, thought provoking story - highly recommended

Wow what an amazing story. Juliet Cromwell is a beautiful writer, the time and research that must have gone into such a book to cover the generations of family, the history and to bring it right up to date to the current time and the difficult concerns we have to deal with on a daily basis. The story takes you on a roller coaster of emotions, at times I laughed at other time I had tears rolling down my face because of the sad parts. It covers so many areas but it was so easy to read because of the way it was written. The characters and storyline flowed so easily. I would highly recommend this book it is a true masterpiece and I'm looking forward to the next book from This author.
Amazon Customer on 18 May 2016


Well... I wasn't sure what to expect from the book but got hooked really quickly and couldn't put it down. Brilliant read thank you... looking forward to the next book?!
Amazon Customer on 18 May 2016

A brilliant read.

Fantastic book. What a masterpiece of rollercoaster emotions. It certainly makes you think and question your thoughts and instincts as the story unfolds. The characters are incredibly well portrayed and the twists, left me wanting more.
Amazon Customer on 18 May 2016

Page Turner With Some Unexpected Twists

Real page turner with some unexpected dark twists. Bought it for a holiday read and devoured it in two sittings. Looking forward to the next offering from this new author.
Amazon Customer on 27 January 2016

Highly recommended

A gripping story with believable characters and some unexpected twists - really enjoyed it.
Amazon Customer

Goodreads Review

This is one of the most beautifully written books I have read in recent years. Each character is captivating and integral to this cleverly crafted novel. Cromwell will make you question your own values whilst resetting your moral compass..
Goodreads Jan 06, 2016

The Things We Do For Love

This very moving novel had near to tears several times; it's a story with characters I'll never forget. Thank you, Ms. Cromwell!
Amazon Customer - Miss Scarlett on March 30, 2016

A brilliant book, well written and exciting to read! Fantastic!

I loved how the book portrayed each character's perception of sin without judgement, leaving me to make up my own mind about their morals - but throughout I did wonder what I would do in those situations.
Amazon Customer - Holly on 30 Nov. 2015

Fantastic! Must read!

I was captivated by A Perception of Sin! I will without doubt share this book among Family and Friends. It is a fantastic reflection on the Author’s imagination and original ideas to create both characters and a fictional storyline, which is a must read! I adore Chapter 11 "Sausages" and urge the reader to watch out for Chapter's 49 and 50!
Amazon Customer on 22 Nov. 2015

So touching

A Perception of Sin spans 3 generations, the Second World War and 9/11· It follows the tumultuous events of 2 families linked by one deed; the repercussions of which has a long-lasting effect which takes us to a final conclusion. Cromwell pours much of what makes us human into this novel and, at times, touches a very raw nerve. We think we know the characters well until they shock and surprise us with their actions. A real page turner for those interested in the (sometimes hidden) History of Britain, and of the dynamics of families.
Amazon Customer on 28 May. 2016

A Perception of Sin is available from the Amazon Kindle store

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Chapter 1

LONDON - March 3rd 2009

Chapter 1 - Kasha

Before the screaming starts, London wakes to its normal rhythm of commuter life. Commercial planes, setting courses on their global trajectories, soar in layered patterns across the London skies. Trains shunt in and out of stations while the M25 is clogged like a fat man’s calcified arteries.

Kasha Hughes is leaving for work. She grabs her white jacket, locks the door to the London flat and runs down the communal stairway. Turning the old brass catch on the heavy front door, she steps out and hears the familiar clunk behind her. A northeasterly wind bites into her clothing and catches at her hair, but Kasha is too happy to care. She is in love.

Smiling to herself, she walks swiftly to Shepherd’s Bush underground station and joins the slipstream of people on a downward escalator. Unconsciously adjusting her balance and spatial awareness, she thinks about Sam. A sudden surge of happiness sends a shiver down her spine as she once again thanks some kind of omnipotent being, she approximately classes as God, for their chance meeting.

The shuddering escalator rumbles in its endless motion and Kasha feels the heat of humankind trapped in the underground passages rise up to meet her. Stepping from the staircase she weaves her way through the tide of commuters and waits in her usual place on the platform. A high-pitched whine announces the arrival of the incoming train and she watches the blurred lines settle into a solid form as it slows to a stop. The doors slide open and she squeezes herself into the already full carriage. Touching is now unavoidable as the travellers are crammed in tight. No seats, no room, no dignity. Pressed against a dark green suit jacket she thinks about texting Sam, but knows she will have to wait for the crush to lessen before she can get her phone out. Seven stops on and Kasha can claim more space. Manoeuvring herself into the central aisle she pulls the phone from her handbag. The over-head light flickers, causing her to look up. Meeting another passenger’s eyes she smiles at him without thinking. The train jolts and she sways in unison with the other travellers as they enter another lit station. Focusing back on the phone she types,

Hello u.

Still on for tonite? Xxx

Pressing send she hears the doors rattle shut and feels the engine’s power shoot through her body.

“Next stop and a cup of coffee,” she thinks as the train gathers speed and thunders along the deep tunnel. Slipping the phone back into her handbag she glances up and sees the green suited man she’d been so intimately squashed against.

“He’s kinda sexy in an older-man sort of way,” she thinks. He looks up from his newspaper as if he has detected her thoughts and she sees his eyes widen, his body stiffen and his lips move. But she cannot hear what he is saying as the carriage is suddenly filled with an enormous, blinding noise. A noise that sucks the air from her lungs, like a vacuum-sealed bag.

He watches as part of the train seat, which only a moment before he had longed to sit in, flies with a menagerie of everyday items through the oval-shaped space. His grasp on time shifts. Each microsecond flattens into a stretched beat as the seat leisurely twists, presenting its sharp metal inserts towards the girl with the amazing hair. He desperately wants to look away but his eyes stay focused as slowly, oh so very slowly, the metal cleaves through her flesh, slicing her open with the accuracy of a dissecting butcher’s knife. He feels her hot blood splatter his face, followed almost immediately by more solid body parts as the contents of the girl’s torso hit him hard, driving out the last of his breath. It causes him to crumple. Gasping for air, he feels himself travelling with the mess that had once been human. Forward, back, up, down, he cannot judge. The disorientation is total. Then, quite suddenly, he slams hard into a rigid surface and drops to the floor. His mind splits, fragmenting between blind panic and logical reasoning, both parts demanding action with the same objective: survival.

Reaching out in an automatic reflex, in answer to his desperate terror, his fingers search for something or somebody, anything he can anchor his life to. He can’t see. He can’t hear. Then he can, he can hear too much as the sound of slaughter rises out of the darkness, hot, black and wet. Pushing himself up he feverishly checks his body, grasping his balls then madly patting down each leg to find his feet.

“FUCK. FUCK. FUCK,” he sobs frantically in time with the patting. Finding himself whole his fucks lessen in intensity. He catches movement off to his left, then a voice reaching out from the darkness. A voice full of reason that penetrates the cacophony of horror. A voice of hope that will set him free to breathe again, to feel the earth solid below his feet and the sun warm on his face. A voice repeating an instruction,

“Be calm, the rescue services will be with us soon.”

A voice that tells him he’s alive.

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About the Author

Like many children born in the fifties, Juliet’s father served in WW2 as a tank commander. He was involved in the D-Day landings, then, later, seconded as a guard at the Nuremberg war trials. Her grandfather served at Gallipoli in WW1. Although each received awards for bravery, they both undoubtedly suffered for their services.

Juliet’s experience of education was first at an austere convent school; later, aged seven, she was sent to an all-girls English public school. She witnessed many dark doings within these unaccountable institutions.

Her young adult years were spent living and working in London before studying history while raising her children. She now lives with her partner by the sea and is currently writing her next novel, A Line of Provenance.