Four girls, friends from the time they were young teenagers in a boarding school in Salten have remained friends though their lives have taken them in diverse paths. They have not met for years but when a message comes from one of them "I need you" it draws them all back immediately despite each one having responsibilities which they cannot shake off easily.
A secret they share buried so deep that should it get out, consequences will be very tough on all of them. They could lose their careers, their families, their marriages and their lives. Arriving in Salten the four try to come to terms and to organise the identical story that they should come up with, in case the worst scenario happens. Unravelling slowly first through a dead sheep left on their doorstep following up with unsigned notes, they know that they are not the only ones privy to their deadly secret.
The setting of a very closed village where the four girls are even decades later disliked and shunned, the isolation and general desolation of the village all add to the scenic gloom where you know that sooner or later things are going to come to a climax which is not going to be good for any of them. Descriptive of the marshes and the tides and the seas around Salten are so good that you can feel how much the environment added to the story's telling. For someone who has not seen this kind of scenery, it was very evocative of the dangers and the treachery of these tides and seas.
This is not the happy reunion of school girls meeting after seventeen years. This is a dark and dangerous period in their lives. It was as good as watching this in a movie. You felt the atmosphere pull you into the story.
Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Random House UK Vintage Publishing.