**Selected for BBC 2 Between the Covers 2023**
When three people suffer strokes after seeing dazzling lights over Edinburgh, then awake completely recovered, they’re convinced their ordeal is connected to the alien creature discovered on a nearby beach … an adrenaline-soaked, deeply humane, life-affirming first-contact novel from one of Scotland’s most revered authors…
Connecting will change everything…
Lennox is a troubled teenager with no family.
Ava is eight months pregnant and fleeing her abusive husband. Heather is a grieving mother and cancer sufferer. They don’t know each other, but when a meteor streaks over Edinburgh, all three suffer instant, catastrophic strokes…
…only to wake up the following day in hospital, miraculously recovered. When news reaches them of an octopus-like creature washed up on the shore near where the meteor came to earth, Lennox senses that some extra-terrestrial force is at play. With the help of Ava, Heather and a journalist, Ewan, he rescues the creature they call ‘Sandy’ and goes on the run.
But they aren’t the only ones with an interest in the alien … close behind are Ava’s husband, the police and a government unit who wants to capture the creature, at all costs. And Sandy’s arrival may have implications beyond anything anyone could imagine…
‘All the drive, curiosity and wonder of his crime and mystery novels … science fiction gains a new author’ – Derek B Miller
‘If you read one life-affirming book this year, make sure it’s this one’ – Nina Pottell, Prima
‘This had all the makings of a film … such relatable characters. Writing a story about a mixed-race boy in the care system and two women so brilliantly is so impressive’ – Sunetra Sarker on Between the Covers
‘So readable and accessible … I was really rooting for the characters’ – Alan Davies on Between the Covers
‘A sci-fi novel that is as moving as it is magical and mysterious. Doug Johnstone has hit it out of the park again’ – Mark Billingham