This book represents an unusual project for us in that we have never met the author whom we identify as Dr Chris Heal, a man in his seventies. Last year, we agreed a contract with him by email which left us considerable freedom of action on a part-seen manuscript. Earlier this year, after hearing nothing for two consecutive months, under the terms of the Agreement, we accessed his cloud storage. We found what we thought to be a remarkable, unconventional, but unfinished, narrative which begins with Heal’s childhood and explains how he became the man he was. There are also detailed chapters on the decisions and mechanics of how he quit society. The closing chapters detail his struggles as he lived ‘off grid’. We believe the whole catches the mood of the moral apocalypse facing the United Kingdom.

We have conducted some limited research and have established that an author called Chris Heal, a doctor of philosophy from Bristol University, wrote an extensive social history about the Gerth brothers, u-boat commanders, before, during and after the First World War. It was called Sound of Hunger and published by Unicorn in June 2018. After moderate sales, Heal was interviewed by the BBC and his comments on Brexit and Germany provoked international controversy. We have also established that the events of which he writes, in the UK, notably in Hampshire; in Biafra in Nigeria; and in Kenya, Morocco, Portugal and Sri Lanka are, as far as we can see, historically correct and we have no reason to doubt their veracity or his involvement. Overall, his story rings true to us with the great single exception of the metaphor of the assassinations in Brussels last year.

We would like to make these points:

  •  Opinions, predictions, unanswered questions and occasional inaccuracies are as per Heal’s manuscript. We accept no responsibility.
  •  Heal admitted to us that he had altered the names of some of the protagonists, and of a few of the places where events occurred, on the basis that these changes may protect us and him from litigation and innocent individuals from unpleasant intrusions. As a further device to these ends, Heal made the timeline of his story deliberately inaccurate at some points. This explains, for instance, why the book was published in August 2019 whereas Heal’s story concludes a few months later.

Chattaway & Spottiswood


May 2019