'Ramblers. Daft sods in pink and green hats. It wasn't even cold. They moved down the field swing-swaying like a line of drunks, addled with the air and the land, and the smell of manure.' This is the voice of our narrator, Sam Marsdyke, the teenage son of a farmer up on the Yorkshire Moors. He spends his days working the sheep, mending fences, trying to dodge the eye of his brutal, silent father, and most of all, watching the transformation of the farms and villages around him. From the top of the moors he watches the goofy ramblers and the earnest 'towns', the families from York, who are feverishly buying up the farmhouses left empty by bankrupt farmers.And as he watches, one young daughter of a new family catches his eye. As he falls for the young, sophisticated girl from London, she begins to see him as a means to escape. She wants to rebel against her parents and he wants to fulfil the fantasy he harbours about her and so they run away together. But this journey across the moors will take a terrifying menacing turn which, for him, will prove his terrible undoing.
Sam Marsdyke is an unforgettable character at the heart of this extraordinary novel, a novel that is hugely funny, darkly menacing and will resonate long after you have finished the last page.
Ross Raisin was born in Yorkshire and lives in London. He is twenty-seven years old.