From the best-selling author of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, a ghost story, a psychological thriller and a tale of love rediscovered.
Elizabeth has been married to Michael for ten years. She has adjusted to a fairly monotonous routine with her wealthy, decent but boring husband. Part of this routine involves occasional visits to Beinn Caorrun, the dank and gloomy house in a Scottish glen that Michael inherited. There are memories there that Michael will not share with her.
But then Michael begins to change. It starts when he thinks he sees, in a picture, the figure of a girl on a landing. As he changes, life becomes so much more fun and Elizabeth sees glimpses of a man she can fall in love with at last. But who - or what - is changing Michael....
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Fully expected not to enjoy this book. It is peppered with man-splaining pompous gentlemen's club members and the social circles, wealth and mores described are completely out of my range of experience. Yet the skill of the author is such that all that stuff is unimportant and you find yourself connecting with the human element of the characters. It was mesmerising listening to Michael and Elizabeth's story unfold, with the constant menace of the paranormal (and/or insanity). I found myself identifying with many of their struggles and caring deeply about the outcome of increasingly menacing influences in their lives. What was particularly powerful for me was the complete absence of heavy handed tricks usually present in stories like this. The constant low-key sense of threat and turbulence beneath polite socially acceptable behaviour had a far bigger impact and I found myself quite tense and nervy as I listened to the story develop.
The best bit of Tosh I have heard recently.
- Julian E. Boyce