Rose Fenemore, a young English tutor at Haworth College in Cambridge, has a secret: she writes very popular science fiction novels, under the name of Hugh Templar. Wanting a quiet and remote place to work on her book, she arranges to spend her summer vacation on a sparsely inhabited island west of Scotland in the company of her brother Crispin, an avid (though amateur) wildlife photographer. When his arrival is delayed by a train accident, Rose resigns herself to several days of solitary writing--only to be confronted, almost immediately, by the abrupt entrance of two suspicious strangers into her idyllic retreat.
The first is Ewen Mackay, an attractive man who arrives at her rented cottage in the middle of the night and who, having grown up in that very cottage, lets himself in with his own key without (apparently) any knowledge that his parents had sold the cottage and moved away. Rose, dazed by his sudden arrival and odd story, is even more taken aback when a second suprise follows soon after the first: another stranger turns up at her door. John Parsons, a geologist who's camping on the island, and is looking for shelter from the storm.
When valuable items go missing from the unoccupied mansion near Rose's cottage, she finds herself caught up in a mystery of increasing complexity. Who can she trust? Ewen Mackay, whose motives and actions grow increasingly more suspicious? Or John Parsons, whose reasons for being on the island may be as false as his name turns out to be?The wild beauty of Scotland's Western Isles are described in this novel.
This report prepared by J.C. Clark