Three divers working for the Police of are shot dead as they step ashore on the Ulster mainland after leaving Rathlin, an island in the straits between Northern Ireland and Scotland. The killings appear to be sectarian and could spark a return to violence in the Province after years of uneasy peace. A clue lies in a document left on Rathlin with Jackie Wilson, an anthropologist. He believes he is a neutral bystander in the age-old conflict, but in reality he is buffeted by conflicting loyalties. Pursued by all sides, he tries to unlock the secret of the document. Gradually he discovers that the seas round Rathlin hold secrets that could change the future of Northern Ireland. But at the same time he becomes painfully aware that there is no sitting on the fence in Ireland, as he confronts his past and his life in terms of love, commitment and betrayal.
Stewart Dalby is a publisher, editor, journalist and writer but not necessarily in that order. As a journalist he has been a news editor, foreign correspondent and travel writer for The Financial Times. He was a war correspondent for The Observer and various American publications and broadcasters. He has written about Ireland for The Spectator, The New Statesman, and The Economist and about collecting and alternative investments for The Guardian. He is part owner of an Internet business and editorial director of a group of e-newspapers specializing in natural resources, has traveled and worked in almost 100 countries and contributed to anthologies of travel writing. He has also briefly been a fishing charter boat skipper in Ireland, a stockbroker in Hong Kong and an investment analyst in Brighton. Married with three daughters, he divides his time between much loved homes in London and Sussex between the South Downs and the Sea. This is his first novel.