This brutal novel packs a hard punch punctuated by occasional flashes of black humour. It's a story of primal urges and the base human instinct for survival. The main characters - all without names - ought to be 2-dimensional and distant but instead they are deep, rounded and unforgettable. The Cumbrian fells heave with life and radiate with beauty yet churn with foreboding and danger. And the ending ... suffice to say, I didn't see that coming.