A haunting exploration of the Cold War arms race that tells the story of a true, covered-up germ warfare incident in a remote part of Scotland, involving the US, Canadian, and UK governments.
NOMINATED FOR THE 2021 HIGHLAND BOOK PRIZE
Operation Cauldron, 1952: Top-secret germ warfare experiments on monkeys and guinea pigs are taking place aboard a vessel moored off the Isle of Lewis. Local villagers Jessie and Duncan encounter strange sights on the deserted beach nearby and suspect the worst. And one government scientist wrestles with his own inner anguish over the testing, struggling to navigate the moral arguments for and against such dangerous testing and extreme deterrent weapons. When a noxious cloud of plague bacteria is released into the path of a passing trawler, disaster threatens. Will a deadly pandemic be inevitable?
A haunting exploration of the costs and fallout of warmongering, Donald S Murray follows his prize-winning first novel with an equally moving exploration of another little-known incident in the Outer Hebridean island where he grew up.
“A moving portrait of a place and its people … a quiet, sad but brilliant novel.” The Times, Book of the Month in best historical fiction
“A rich and sympathetic portrayal of island life in all its diversity … timely and compelling.” Scotsman
“A wonderfully evocative book … strongly recommended [for] anyone looking for really strong and memorable fiction about Scotland … outstanding.” Undiscovered Scotland