An extraordinarily powerful and critically acclaimed debut - Val McDermid called it 'brutal and beautiful' - to compare to such classics as Lord of the Flies by William Golding and Iain Banks' The Wasp Factory.
In the magnificent wilderness that is the Scottish Highlands, Aaron and Hugh have been friends for as long as they can remember, bound by a shared affinity for their surroundings and an increasing sense of alienation from the remote, close-knit community that is their home.
But when a young woman - fleeing life in the city and a broken love affair - moves to the area, the ties that bind the boys are slowly, irrevocably stretched to near-breaking point. And as the strain on Aaron and Hugh's friendship builds, so the violence that is endemic in the land begins to infect them both. Driven to the very edge of reason, they turn on their world to vent their frustration and anger and hurt in the only way they know, embarking on a spree of quite horrific destruction...
'He has a novelist's eye for the beauty of the landscape and the shape of its contours. His descriptions...are elegiac in their intensity, and he has a sureness of touch which comes from a real understanding of the countryside...this is a novel of startling originality, an absorbing psychological thriller as well as a deft portrayal of friendship and betrayal. Nicoll writes fluently and well'
'Spectacular, page-turning...sweeping and assured'
'A novel of startling originality, an absorbing psychological thriller as well as a deft portrayal of friendship and betrayal'
'Eerily impressive...Nicoll produces prose both rhapsodically beautiful and red in tooth and claw, marking out this modern gothic tale'
'Will leave you breathless. This is a bleak novel whose tensions build flawlessly into a shocking denouement'