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Synopsis

1946: far out in the Atlantic a boatload of men returning from war are shipwrecked within sight of their homes on the remote Scottish island of Kulah – and the wailing of the women could be heard across the sea on neighbouring Battersay. But the women are also hiding a shameful secret…

Present Day: When journalist Ally Niven escapes to the remote Scottish island of Battersay after a failed love affair, all she is looking for is a quiet life and a catering job for the summer. But from the outset someone is trying to scare her off and Ally soon discovers that the beautiful surroundings mask tensions among the people who are harbouring 'Birdwoman' - a feral young woman found on rocky Kulah. Ally is increasingly attracted to reclusive artist, John Balmain, who has also taken refuge on Battersay, but is elusive about his past. From John, Ally learns of a sinister prophecy which predicted the shipwreck and how Flora, the Flame-haired leader of the Kulah women, would wreak her revenge. Increasingly isolated and intimidated by bizarre attacks on her house and sightings of a lone woman in a blue headscarf that she cannot explain, Ally sets out to discover the truth behind the Kulah story and the secrets the broodingly handsome John is determined to keep from her; as the two stories converge in a shocking climax. This is MacLeod Trotter's second enthralling mystery.

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