Rachel Murphy is one of the UK's most talented and successful ghost writers.
She has co-authored twenty-one books to date, twelve of which have been Sunday Times top ten bestsellers. Her books have been translated into numerous languages, and have received more than 3,000 five-star reviews on amazon.co.uk. They include:
- Loving and Losing You, Azaylia: My Inspirational Daughter and our Unbreakable Bond (Ebury), telling Safiyya Vorajee's inspiring account of motherhood, hope and loss.
- What Lies Buried (Endeavour/Octopus UK), with Kerry Daynes, it tells the leading forensic psychologist’s true tales of madness, badness and the misunderstood.
- Loosehead: Confessions of an (un)professional rugby player (Ebury Press/ PRH UK),the candid and funny memoirs of idiosyncratic England rugby star Joe Marler, which was shortlisted in the Telegraph Sports Book Awards 2021 for 'Rugby Book of the Year'.
- Just A Child (Blink/Bonnier UK), the story of Rotherham survivor and campaigner Sammy Woodhouse, who bravely exposed Britain’s biggest child abuse scandal.
- Cheryl Cole’s number one bestselling autobiography, Cheryl Cole: My Story (HarperCollins).
- The joint autobiography of The Hairy Bikers, Blood, Sweat and Tyres (Orion).
- Mum’s List (Penguin), an international bestseller telling how St John Greene raised his two young sons following their mum’s death. Translated into fifteen languages, the book has been adapted into an award-winning film starring Rafe Spall and Emilia Fox.
- Back to the Boy by James Arthur (Hodder & Stoughton). The book is part memoir and part self-help. It explores the X Factor winner’s troubled life and shares his innermost thoughts on surviving mental health problems and coping with the pressures of success.
- John and George: The Dog Who Changed My Life (Century, Random House) with John Dolan, who was inspired by his dog George to quit his life of drugs and crime and become an artist. The book has been translated into French, German, Spanish and Chinese.
- The autobiography of Strictly Come Dancing dancer and I’m a Celebrity star Ola Jordan, Strictly Ola: Ola Jordan – My Autobiography (St James’s House).
- Please Don’t Go (Random House), written with football hero John Hartson, documenting his fight for life after he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. The book was shortlisted for Best Autobiography at the British Sports Book Awards.
- The Midwife’s Here! and Bundles of Joy (HarperCollins) - two nostalgic memoirs telling the story of Linda Fairley’s career as Britain’s longest serving midwife. Both books were Sunday Times bestsellers and are recommended reading by the Royal College of Midwives.
- Living with Evil (Headline), a huge number one bestseller in Ireland and a Sunday Times bestseller in the UK for fourteen consecutive weeks, tells the story of Cynthia Owen’s fight for justice following her tragic childhood. Described by the Sunday Times as ‘a crucially important social document for Ireland’.
Rachel has worked as a journalist and writer for more than twenty years. Originally from the Wirral, she lives in Kent and is married with three grown-up children.
A Place for Lost Souls: A Nurse's Stories of Hope and Despair from a 1980s Psychiatric Hospital
"Ultimately, my experiences as a mental health nurse have taught me that we should judge less and open our hearts more."
Belinda Black was just seventeen years old when she began working as a nursing assistant at the large and foreboding 'madhouse', as it was then known to the villagers of her hometown in the north of England. Following in the footsteps of her mother, she went on to spend a decade caring for patients with widely varying mental health problems, all locked up together and out of view of society. Some had suffered unimaginable trauma, several had violent and volatile tendencies, but amongst this Belinda found moments of joy and even friendship with her patients.
But A Place for Lost Souls is also about the other psychiatric nurses there, from those like Sister Kane who suffered from depression and found treating others a welcome distraction, to others like Belinda's friend Sally, who always had a sense of humour however dark the situation.
Together, against a backdrop of rattling keys, clanging iron doors, and wards that smelled of disinfectant and stale smoke, these people came together to get through another day. Until the hospital, along with many others, had its doors closed in 1991 - the biggest change to mental healthcare in NHS history.
The result is a moving, shocking but ultimately life-affirming account of a unique and noble profession, told from the frontlines. Amongst so much sadness and distress, and despite witnessing some of the darkest corners of human suffering, Belinda finds hope: in the camaraderie of her colleagues, in the patients she cares for, and in her unwavering belief that even people who have committed violent crimes are fundamentally good.
What Lies Buried: A forensic psychologist’s true stories of madness, the bad and the misunderstood
What Lies Buried is a towering achievement. Kerry takes us deep into the minds of the disturbed and dangerous and challenges our very humanity. As gripping as any thriller. Her dry wit and humour keeps it real.
Pacy and gripping. Daynes uses her trademark mix of humour and humanity to shine a light on those we rarely get to hear from. A brilliant, important and sensitive book.
What Lies Buried is an exceptional book . . . I could not put it down.
Kerry's dedication (and impressive ability) to read between the lines and cast aside prejudice, going beyond the question she is so often asked in her profession: 'Are they mad or bad?'
**Longlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger for Non-fiction**
**The sensational new book from the author of the Sunday Times bestseller The Dark Side of the Mind**
Kerry Daynes, leading forensic psychologist, opens up the case files of some of her most perplexing clients to uncover what lies buried behind some of the most extreme and disturbing behaviour.
For twenty-five years, Kerry has worked on the frontline of violent crime, from working with the police on complex cases and acting as an expert witness in court, to advising the government on how to handle high-risk individuals.
Whether she is dealing with a young murderer who says he has heard voices telling him to kill, a teacher who daubs children in red paint, or an aspiring serial killer who faints at the sight of blood, Kerry's quest is to delve beyond the classic question asked of her profession: 'Are they mad or are they bad?'
In her new book, Kerry provides an unflinching, enlightening and provocative insight into the minds of her clients, shedding light on the root causes of their behaviour and challenging our notions about who, and what, is dangerous.
Just A Child: Britain's Biggest Child Abuse Scandal Exposed
**The Sunday Times Top 10 Bestseller**
A chilling and heartbreaking story of how a trusting young girl survived and ultimately brought down the Rotherham child sexual exploitation ring.
Sammy Woodhouse was just 14 when she met Arshid Hussain. Ten years older, he promised to take care of her. Sammy thought she was in love, but in reality she was being groomed by a ringleader of Britain's most notorious child sex ring.
Just A Child tells the heartbreaking story of how a young girl from Rotherham was abused by her drug-dealing 'boyfriend', eventually giving birth to his baby, right under the nose of the very authorities who were meant to protect her. When reality dawned and Sammy realised she was one of countless vulnerable child victims - many of whom were trafficked around the north of England - she took it upon herself to blow the whistle and save others from a similar fate.
Thanks to Sammy's bravery, the gang was fully exposed, as well as the authorities that did little to help her. Her shocking account of how these events came to pass will enrage and sadden but, above all, it will offer hope and show why this must never happen again.
Bundles of Joy
The second book from Sunday Times bestselling author Linda Fairley.
‘No matter how many babies I deliver, each and every one is a miracle, connecting me to the world like nothing else, reminding me that we are all equal in the beginning, and in the end. It’s a great leveller, childbirth.’
It’s January 1972 and times have changed since Linda first stepped onto a maternity ward four years earlier. Gone are the starched skirts and steaming milk kitchens of the 1960s; these are the exhilarating days of disposable equipment and new technology. The Pill will soon be free to all women, and more and more fathers are daring to brave the delivery room.
At the newly-opened Ashton maternity unit the midwives’ spirits are high, and, in spite of the dark cloud of laundry strikes on the horizon, there’s the scent of a new era on the cold winter wind.
But one thing has stayed the same – the babies keep coming. Year after year, Linda faithfully helps the women of Greater Manchester through their most vulnerable and emotional hours, whether it is by giving calm instructions over the phone to a panicking husband, delivering a baby unexpectedly in a hospital lift, or by dashing headlong to the rescue of a snowed-in mum-to-be.
As 25-year-old Linda becomes a mother herself she understands, more than ever, what a precious gift it is to bring children into the world, and she holds each new baby just that little bit tighter. As the years roll by Linda finds herself delivering the babies of mothers and fathers she helped to bring into the world decades earlier – making her something of a local celebrity.
Through the highs and lows, through the modernisations that transform the hospital and the world outside, Linda’s passion for midwifery burns as bright as ever. With 42 years of experience Linda is one of Britain’s longest-serving midwives, and reaching the retirement age in 2008 didn’t stop her doing the job she loves.
Although she has seen generations of women give birth and delivered more than 2,000 babies, she treats every new arrival like the new miracle it is.
The Midwife's Here!
**The Sunday Times Top 10 bestseller**
‘Delivering my first baby is a memory that will stay with me forever. Just feeling the warmth of a newborn head in your hands, that new life, there’s honestly nothing like it… I’ve since brought more than 2,200 babies into the world, and I still tingle with excitement every time.’
It’s the summer of 1968 and St Mary’s Maternity Hospital in Manchester is a place from a bygone age. It is filled with starched white hats and full skirts, steaming laundries and milk kitchens, strict curfews and bellowed commands. It is a time of homebirths, swaddling and dangerous anaesthetics. It was this world that Linda Fairley entered as a trainee midwife aged just 19 years old.
From the moment Linda delivered her first baby – racing across rain-splattered Manchester street on her trusty moped in the dead of night – Linda knew she’d found her vocation. ‘The midwife’s here!’ they always exclaimed, joined in their joyful chorus by relieved husbands, mothers, grandmothers and whoever else had found themselves in close proximity to a woman about to give birth.
Under the strict supervision of community midwife Mrs Tattershall, Linda’s gruellingly long days were spent on overcrowded wards pinning Terry nappies, making up bottles and sterilizing bedpans – and above all helping women in need. Her life was a succession of emergencies, successes and tragedies: a never-ending chain of actions which made all the difference between life and death.
There was Mrs Petty who gave birth in heartbreaking poverty; Mrs Drew who confided to Linda that the triplets she was carrying were not in fact her husband’s; and Muriel Turner, whose dangerously premature baby boy survived – against all the odds. Forty years later Linda’s passion for midwifery burns as bright as ever as she is now celebrated as one of Britain’s longest-serving midwives, still holding the lives of mothers and children in her own two hands.
Rich in period detail and told with a good dose of Manchester humour, The Midwife’s Here! is the extraordinary, heartwarming tale of a truly inspiring woman.
An inspiring and moving account of the couple's relationship. It is also testament to her deep love for the young sons she realised she would never see grow up.
**The international bestseller**
**Now a film starring Rafe Spall and Emilia Fox, which the Guardian called 'Heartfelt, sweet and desperately sad'**
The heartbreaking and heartwarming true story of a mother dying of a cancer and the special gift she left for her husband and two young sons - it'll have you crying and laughing equally.
'Always kiss the boys goodbye and goodnight.'
'Please teach the boys to say what they mean.'
'Mummy loved orange Club biscuits, jam and jelly and lemon curd.'
For Kate Greene, nothing was as important as the happiness and well-being of her two little boys, Reef and Finn, and her loving husband, Singe. Even when she fell very ill, they were her only concern. Over her last few days, Kate created Mum's List. With Singe's help, she wrote her thoughts and wishes down, trying to help the man she loved create the best life for their sons after she was gone. Mum's List encapsulates Kate's passionate nature, her free spirit and even her sense of humour. It became Singe's rock, as he turned to it again and again for strength and inspiration. Slowly, gradually, Singe began to fulfil Kate's requests.
This is the heart-warming memoir of how Kate's list has helped Singe and his brave little boys move on and build a new life for themselves, while always keeping her in their hearts.
Please Don't Go: Big John's Journey Back to Life
**Shortlisted for Autobiography of the Year at the British Sports Book Awards**
In July 2009, former Celtic and Wales soccer star John Hartson was diagnosed with testicular cancer, which had also spread to his lungs and brain. But before his treatment even began, John came to the brink of death after contracting pneumonia, ceasing to breathe and undergoing emergency brain surgery. Against all the odds, he pulled through, and in Please Don't Go he documents his incredible fight for life.
Profoundly moving, John's own story is interwoven with the poignant recollections of his pregnant wife, Sarah, as well as with extracts from his sister Victoria's personal diary. This remarkable book covers the five-week period during which John's survival was most in jeopardy. John's truly inspirational account of how he has managed to overcome a very aggressive form of cancer will offer hope and courage to others affected by the disease. It is a touching and ultimately uplifting insight into the bravery of the popular football hero, who has fought back to full health in the face of adversity.
Living With Evil
Cynthia Owen grew up in Ireland, went to the local convent school, said her prayers and took her first communion with all the other girls in her class. But behind the façade of respectability lurked a hideous reality.
Cynthia was just eight years old when she was sexually abused by her father amongst others. Shortly before her eleventh birthday she was made pregnant and, minutes after giving birth to the baby, Cynthia watched in horror as her own mother murdered the tiny infant, named Noleen, by repeatedly stabbing her with a knitting needle. Cynthia's mother then wrapped the baby girl in a plastic bag, dumped her in an alleyway and made her daughter go back to school and pretend nothing had ever happened.
After enduring many more years of rape and violence, Cynthia came forward and reported her abuse and Noleen's death.
Finally, in 2007, after a fifteen-year legal fight to have her baby girl formally identified, the jury at the 'Dun Laoghaire Baby' inquest declared that the baby found dead in an alleyway thirty-four years previously was Noleen Murphy, the daughter of Cynthia Owen.
Cynthia's is a horrific story of brutality and loss, but ultimately, it is an account of love, immense bravery and her fight for justice in Noleen's name.