edge of a cliff

  • crime fiction
  • crime fiction
  • crime fiction

Erosion

There are twists and turns galore along with a generous helping of gallows humour when ten people are stranded on a remote Scottish island. Inspired by true events, Erosion is an exciting edge-of-a-cliff thriller with an undercurrent of tension and unease from the start.
A woman suspects her husband of infidelity and is devastated by the outcome when the revenge she plots goes horribly wrong. Tempers fray with disastrous results when a romantic overture is rejected. Within the claustrophobic confines of the cramped living quarters, the temperature is raised by the destructive trinity of lust, jealousy and ire. A chain of catastrophic events is triggered and it's not long before ten becomes nine. But the weekend is only just getting underway and there are plenty more surprises in store. How many will make it off the island alive?

The island

crime fiction

The island lies off the north west coast of Sutherland, in the Scottish
Highlands. Once a burial island and then home to crofters and fishermen,
it now has no permanent human population. The island is famed for its
dramatic Torridonian sandstone cliffs. Towering over the Atlantic, the cliffs
provide high rise homes to the tens of thousands of seabirds that come here
each year to breed. In the summer months, basking sharks, minke whales,
and dolphins cruise the waters.

Seabird colonies

crime fiction

Many of the island’s seabirds return year after year to breed in the
same place on the cliffs as the year before. Puffin colonies nest
together in burrows at the top of the cliffs. Razorbills breed between
rocks and boulders and in crevices. Oystercatchers breed on the open
coast while guillemots in their thousands nest on cliff ledges, fulmars
and kittiwakes nearby. Great skuas dominate the moorland in the centre
of the island, divebombing anyone who strays too close.

Rats

crime fiction

Rats are excellent swimmers and are known to island-hop to their
destination using smaller islets as stopping points along the way. Rats
are highly social animals and the first thing any rat does on arriving at
the island, is seek out any other rats in the vicinity. Rats will eat any eggs
they find and have been known to decimate entire bird colonies on islands
and so each year, a working party goes to the island to lay down traps to
keep the population under control.

between the lines

The crossing

His lifejacket gave no comfort as it chafed against his chin. All it did was reinforce the idea that there was a chance he could end up in the water, and if that happened, lifejacket or no lifejacket, he’d be sucked under in a second, the roiling, briny soup filling his lungs.

Arrival

A ray of sunshine broke through a chink in the clouds and for a few glorious minutes turned a sliver of beach from muted shades of grey to golden yellow. She pulled off her jacket in celebration of the moment, and had a mad desire to strip off and run naked through the dunes.

Suspicion

Her stomach churned at the thought of
being alone with him, but what could she
do? He hadn’t broken any rules, hadn't touched her, hadn’t said anything inappropriate, at least nothing she could pin down. There wasn’t anything she could actually accuse him of, and yet…

Fear

She didn’t believe in all that supernatural
twaddle. There were no such things as
ghosts, and yet she couldn’t help but feel
a little spooked. A little nervy. A little
terrified – out here – by herself – with
nothing but the whine and wail of the
wind for company.

Available from: Ullapool Bookshop | The Ceilidh Place Bookshop, Ullapool,
FISK Gallery, Achiltibuie | Forse of Nature, Latheron, Caithness | Online from Amazon.