Bestselling author and teacher Casey Watson shares the horrifying true story of Kiera Bentley, a 12-year-old girl with a deeply shocking secret she's too young to even understand.
When Casey first meets Kiera, a small slight girl who's just lashed out at a fellow pupil in assembly, she immediately senses something's wrong. Something in Kiera's eyes alerts Casey that this is an "old head on young shoulders", and with Kiera's constant tiredness and self-soothing habit of pulling her hair out, she follows her instinct and takes Kiera under her wing.
At first the answer seems simple enough; Kiera's parents aren't together and they don't get on, which makes life hard for Kiera as she's so close to her dad. But as the weeks roll on, Casey begins to understand that there's something much darker going on behind closed doors. And when she finally learns the truth, she's terrified she won't be able to save Kiera from it.
Casey Watson, who writes under a pseudonym, is a specialist foster carer. She and her husband, Mike, look after children who are particularly troubled or damaged by their past. Before becoming a foster carer Casey was a behaviour manager for her local comprehensive school. It was through working with these `difficult' children - removed from mainstream classes for various reasons - that the idea for her future career was born. Casey is married with two children and three grandchildren.