A remote fishing village in Scotland seems the perfect place for Betsy Gillander to abscond for a few days with her fiancÃ©. There, in a landscape marred only by a vast MoD range away to the west, the pale winter sun lights up this next step in her happy and structured life.
But then a violent storm wraps itself around the village and for three days the couple are trapped in their hotel. The enforced intimacy opens Betsyâ€™s eyes to the indolent cruelty of the man sheâ€™s agreed to marry, while in the hotel bar the locals gather, increasingly anxious for news of a boat still out at sea.
By the time the sun reappears, Betsyâ€™s fiancÃ© has left her and she is adrift in a community shattered by the loss of the boat and seven of its sons. The pain of her break-up in the face of such tragedy produces in her a terrible guilt and Betsy finds herself drawn into a cloistered, close-knit community with a morality far beyond her understandingâ€¦
â€˜â€˜Emotionally-wroughtâ€¦in turn lyrical and violent, fable-like and gutsyâ€™
â€˜Lyrical and compellingâ€¦Another triumphâ€™
â€˜Absorbingâ€¦while the narrative is well-crafted and builds to a bravura climax, it is in the evocation of atmosphere, that elusive art, that Nicoll really earns his spursâ€™
â€˜A quietly spooky taleâ€¦unsettling and oddly exhilaratingâ€™
â€˜Nicoll writes intricate, accurate prose and offers alluring descriptions of the Scottish landscapeâ€¦The landscape of Wide Eyed is beautiful and the situation is fascinatingâ€™
Publication date: 01/09/2004
|Publication date:||1st September 2004|
|Genres:||eBook Favourites, Thriller / Suspense,|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),|
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.More About Ruaridh Nicoll