There are shadows aplenty in this novel; eerie casts of light; troubled minds; unquiet souls. This is the story of Noah and his widowed mother Millicent, famous author of children’s books featuring The Adventurers, a group of plucky young souls who have dedicated themselves to righting wrongs. However, since her husband’s death in the Second World War, Millicent has suffered writer’s block and feels the need of a remote location to give her the peace and isolation which she believes will stimulate her creative abilities. There are few locations more remote than the island of Inchtinn, as Noah quickly discovers.
His overwhelming fear of water makes the journey to the island in a small boat almost unbearable and the accommodation is little more than an extremely poorly furnished wooden cabin. Trying desperately to find something to do, Noah begins to explore a cave in the cliffs. Here he meets and forms a friendship with cloaked and hooded young girl who, he discovers later, died 500 years previously in the then notorious leper hospital on the island.
Mysteries accumulate, then begin to unfold, revealing a past full of cruelty and corruption. Millicent refuses to believe Noah’s stories about a mysterious figure outside his room, until the presence enters the cabin and injures her so badly that Noah is forced to overcome his terror of water and swim to the shore in a storm in an effort to find help. The ghostly girl appears in selkie form and saves his life-and Millicent’s, too, as he is able to get help.
This action-packed tale is far more than a simple ghost story: it explores family ties, loss, corruption and courage. The storyline mirrors Millicent’s stories in many ways: mysteries to be solved, help from unexpected waters and the triumph of good over evil.