“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.