On the wind-battered isle of Altnaharra, off the wildest coast of Scotland, a clan prepares to bring about the end of the world and its imminent rebirth.
The Adder is coming and one of their number will inherit its powers. They all want the honor, but young Eve is willing to do anything for the distinction.
A reckoning beyond Eve’s imagination begins when Chief Inspector Black arrives to investigate a brutal murder and their sacred ceremony goes terribly wrong.
And soon all the secrets of Altnaharra will be uncovered.
One of the biggest strengths of this novel from Catriona Ward is that it is about a family with a twist, this is a family with secrets, dark and terrible. What makes it so distinctive and so compelling is the voice of Eve and her sister Dinah. As you read their stories, it is almost as if you can hear them. The historical elements add to the terrible horrific aspects because of how isolated the clan is from the rest of the world. Eve and her sister are rich characters and as a reader, you quickly become engrossed in their story.
This is a story of very human horror and it is fitting that as the novel delves into the past, that mysteries and intrigues emerge, secrets spill out into the light of truth. The story is about family but not in any traditional way and yet, Catriona Ward deftly explores the bonds of sisters and how love can enrich us or harm us.
If you love stories with human terror and mystery, a story about family with a twist, I recommend this compelling novel of sisters and secrets. You will find you won’t be able to put the book down. It will keep you up long into the night.
Rating: 5 out of 5 adders