In a Veil of Mist

Donald S Murray

A son of the Hebrides, Donald S Murray is a writer and poet whose first novel, As the Women Lay Dreaming, won the Paul Torday Memorial Prize in 2020, as well as being shortlisted for a host of other literary awards. Like his first novel, his second, In a Veil of Mist, is set in the Isle of Lewis and centred on historical events of the 20th century. In a Veil of Mist was shortlisted for the Highland Book Prize. Donald’s previous books have been shortlisted for both the Saltire Literary Awards and the Callum Macdonald Memorial Award. His critically acclaimed non-fiction books bring to life the culture and nature of the Scottish islands, and he appears regularly on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio Scotland. He is also the writer of The Man who Talks to Birdsa collection of poetry published in 2020.

His latest novel, The Call of the Cormorant, is an ‘unreliable biography’ of Karl Kjerúlf Einarsson: an artist and an adventurer, a charlatan and a swindler, forever in search of Atlantis.

In a Veil of Mist

by Donald S Murray

  • RRP: £9.99 (print) / £4.99 (ebook)
  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781913393007
  • Ebook ISBN: 9781913393014

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HISTORICAL FICTION BOOK OF THE MONTH, THE TIMES LONGLISTED FOR THE HIGHLAND BOOK PRIZE 2021 A poisoned breeze blows across the waves 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, even if he believes extreme deterrent weapons are needed. 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.

REVIEWS OF In a Veil of Mist

“Where the book really scores is in Murray’s familiarity with … [the island] culture … a living community of varied characters with generations of history behind them, giving his story depth and solidity.” Herald

“A wonderfully evocative book … brought to the page … with consummate skill … We'd strongly recommend [it to] anyone looking for really strong and memorable fiction about Scotland … outstanding.” Undiscovered Scotland

"A well-written and well-crafted novel from an author at the height of his powers.” Eric Macintyre, Oban Times

“Human and relatable … beautifully depicting life in the Outer Hebrides. A gripping, intelligent and often humorous read.” Scottish Field

“Set in [Murray’s] native Lewis as firmly as the stones at Callanish … it is so credibly drawn that the book is almost a ticket to the island … it seems an even more impressive achievement than ever.” David Robinson, Books from Scotland

“Shows yet again how a good novel is capable of making you think and feel at the same time … a rich and sympathetic portrayal of island life in all its diversity … timely and compelling … a novel to savour.” Allan Massie, Scotsman

“Admirably atmospheric and engaging.” Scotsman

“A moving portrait of a place and its people … a quiet, sad but brilliant novel.” Antonia Senior, Times, Book of the Month in best historical fiction, March 2021. Read more