Arriving at their idyllic and newly renovated Highland home, worthy of TV's Grand Designs, wealthy 30-somethings John and Laura Payne hope they are leaving their problems behind in the city. But the couple's presence disturbs neighbour and local eccentric Luther Grove, forcing him to confront long-buried secrets - secrets that draw him inextricably to Laura and trigger an instant conflict with John.
The arrival of John's brother, Frank, proves to be the spark that ignites this highly combustible triangular relationship, ultimately threatening the safety and sanity of all four as they are propelled towards a bloody and tragic denouement.
In a stunning debut, Barry Gornell, graduate of the University of Glasgow's renowned and highly successful Creative Writing Masters course - which launched the careers of John Creasey Dagger winner Louise Welsh, Orange Prize nominee Anne Donovan, Somerset Maugham winner Rodge Glass, and Man Booker nominee Rachel Seiffert, amongst many others - builds the tension flawlessly, showing genuine sympathy for his principle characters in this elegant, claustrophobic and acutely observed psychological thriller.
I first 'read' this book, in lexicon form shortly after it was published. I thoroughly enjoyed it then.
I subsequently asked the author whether there were plans to produce the story in audio. He very generously sent me the link to Audible and I purchased the book once again.
I am a great devotee of the oral story-telling tradition and Audiobooks make this a 'grownup' way of listening to stories.
When I listened to the story again I could more fully experience the story and the characters became more real and sympathetic for me.
The story was very well written with some very evocative metaphorical phrasing, "...the imago of a woman...", being one which stirred me and remained in my mind long after the story was told (I could discuss the significance of this image and it's importance for me at length but won't!)
All in all Barry has produced a beautifully crafted 'tour-de-force' with this book and having it in audio form greatly enhanced my pleasure in the reading.