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352 Pages, 5 x 7.75

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $17.95 (US $17.95)

Publication Date: September 2019

ISBN 9781784704926

Rights: US

Penguin Random House UK (Sep 2019)

Price: $17.95


A young woman comes face-to-face with the volatile, haunted wilderness of the Scottish Highlands

Polly Vaughan is trying to escape the ravaging guilt of a disturbing incident in London by heading north to the Scottish Highlands. As soon as she arrives, this spirited, funny, alert young woman goes looking for drink, drugs, and sex—finding them all quickly, and unsatisfactorily, with the barman in the only pub. She also finds a fresh kind of fear, alone in this eerie, myth-drenched landscape. Increasingly prone to visions or visitations—floating white shapes in the waters of the loch or in the woods—she is terrified and fascinated by a man she came across in the forest on her first evening, apparently tearing apart a bird. Who is this strange loner? And what is his sinister secret?


"Swansong is the real thing, right from the start: spiky, strange and contemporary, but always with a dark undertow of myth and folklore tugging at its telling. The voice jags at you, and the plot grips: this is a brilliant novel by a writer - and musician - of frankly alarming talent." —Robert Macfarlane

"Like the great storytelling tradition it extends so elegantly, Swansong is all about transformation, whether through love, rage, fear or desperation: a chilling tour de force that draws the old gods and demons from the land, and lets them loose in the most unexpected ways. It is also an utterly compelling psychological thriller, a book you will simply refuse to put down until the last piece of its extraordinary puzzle falls into place. Essential reading." —John Burnside

"I loved Swansong: a subtle, supernatural tale told in a present-day voice, unsettling right from the start. The writing is so vivid and charged with energy, it's truly a remarkable novel." —Shirley Collins

"I miss my stop on the tube because I'm so engrossed." —Huffington Post

"Memorably eerie . . . When the tension is ramped up in the closing chapters, with false turns and twists galore, we root for [Polly] to the very end." —Times Literary Supplement

Author Biography

Kerry Andrew is a composer, performer, and author. She has won four British Composer Awards and is best known for her experimental vocal, choral, and music-theater work.