Gunshot In Paradise – book by Craig Hartwell
My jaw jerked open and I began gasping for air.
I noticed that I was choking now as my throat seemed to be blocking up with something, my left cheek pressing heavily with the full weight of my head into a warm sticky substance on the floor.
As I watched, the ground in front of me changed colour as a fast-growing circle of black centred at my chest began spreading out across the tiles. A sweet-salty sensation filled the air like a fresh slab of meat being sliced open at a butcher’s, as the dark liquid at first fully encompassed then quickly surpassed my entire stretched-out frame.
I was transfixed by this rapidly moving pool as it raced over the smooth ceramic then touched and bounced back off the bar panels like a wave hitting a sea wall. It reminded me of hot black treacle, and I began to think rather worryingly that it looked a lot like blood. I put the facts together and with horror grasped that it was mine.
It felt as though a violation had taken place upon me that I had been powerless to control or stop, and for the first time in my life I really understood the word violation and what it meant, and all the horrible connotations it holds.
It was 10.30pm, Wednesday the 2nd of February 1994.
Great. I wish I’d stayed in bed.
‘unique and exciting’
‘refreshing, authentic, new!’
‘the story gripped me right to the end’
Previously published in 2014 under the title Gunshot In Paradise: My True Story, Craig Hartwell’s account of his experiences following a life-changing shooting in the British Virgin Islands will be re-edited and reprinted to coincide with the other ‘Impacts’ of the BULLETPROOF project.
‘GUNSHOT’ was written to show how an ordinary person can be thrust into a terrible situation not of their own making and explores the depths of fortitude we sometimes have to mine in order to climb out the other side.
A further more important reason, is to detail exactly what happens physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually during and after a firearms injury.
If people really understood the horror of being a victim of gun crime, perhaps we would all take a more sober and common sense view of exactly what it means to allow the easy availability of guns in society.
A dramatic autobiographical account of actual events that took place in the British Virgin Islands in the mid-1990’s.
This authentic and original true story follows a young couple as they leave behind the grey London skies and routine of normal life to chase a dream and start afresh in the Caribbean.
What they find however is tragedy and heartache, as they are terrifyingly plunged into a world they do not understand and over which they have no control.
At times funny and engaging, at others inspirational, it is, in essence, a gripping life and death struggle for survival set against the backdrop of an incredible tropical hideaway.
Everything they knew is suddenly on the line as the two young adventurers battle governments and the laws of a foreign land, and are confronted with a truly shocking incident that is destined to change both their lives forever.
Not all trips to paradise end the same way…
Map of the Virgin Islands (including Craig’s journey the night of the shooting)
Map of Virgin Gorda