Fortune has blessed Betsy Gillander. Twenty-eight, a pioneering research scientist and in control, her latest coup is a marriage proposal from her long-term boyfriend. For this he has taken her to a small fishing village on the southernmost tip of Scotland, where isolation is assured - and the raw beauty of the place only slightly marred - by a vast MoD firing range. Only this time Betsy's luck deserts her. For three days a vicious storm rages, trapping the couple in the local hotel, their every movement watched by a strange fellow guest, while the villagers congregate at the bar, fearful for the fate of one of their boats out at sea. Such intimacy offers Betsy a stifling view of the man who wants to marry her, and what began as an idyll becomes incarceration. She drops him and he retaliates with a brutal but accurate denunciation of her unadventurous nature and leaves, taking her car. As he drives away, so the village hears its boat is lost, its sons drowned, its very soul torn away. Smarting from the critique and with no quick way out, Betsy allows herself to be drawn into the tragedy. And so begins a dark and dangerous rite of passage, a descent into a cloistered, close-knit
Ruaridh Nicoll was born in Arbroath, Angus, in 1969 and raised in the Highland county of Sutherland. An award-winning journalist, he served as the Observer's US correspondent and the Guardian's Southern Africa correspondent. His first novel was the critically acclaimed WHITE MALE HEART. He lives in Edinburgh.