Beneath the Diamond Sky

“The balaclava twisted towards Kate, close enough for her to make out dark lashes and deep brown, expressionless eyes.  She  held his gaze; the moment stretched.  She found herself mesmerised by the fact that the ski-mask was knitted from rough wool.  A sob rose in her throat, threatened to become audible, but was silenced by the banality of a trickle of sweat which, while she watched, ran from the man’s brow into the corner of his right eye.

Kashmir, the Himalayan foothills. Seven westerners on a misguided trekking expedition are taken hostage by separatist militants.  The captives include Kate Cox and Ethan Hughes, a troubled young English couple.  At the mercy of hardened idealogues they cannot understand, Kate and Ethan are pushed into a claustrophobic hell of shifting allegiances, where love and survival seem destined to collide.

BENEATH THE DIAMOND SKY is an absorbing psychological exploration of how character fragments under pressure.  It is a beautifully written, blackly funny and terrifying read.