Every year or so, a boy from Innertown school disappears, vanishing into the wasteland of the old chemical plant. Nobody knows where these boys go, or whether they are alive or dead. The authorities claim they are simply runaways. But Morrison, the town policeman, knows otherwise.
The local children terrified by the tales of disappearances turn against Rivers, a sad fantasist and suspected paedophile living alone at the edge of the wasteland. Trapped and frightened, one of the boys, Leonard, tries to escape, taking refuge in the poisoned ruins of the old plant; there he finds another boy, who might be the missing Liam and might be a figment of his imagination. With his help, Leonard comes to understand the policeman’s involvement, and exacts the necessary revenge - before following Liam into the Glister: possibly a disused chemical weapons facility, possibly a passage to the outer world.
About the Author
John Burnside has published six works of fiction and eleven collections of poetry, including The Asylum Dance, which won the 2000 Whitbread Poetry Award. His memoir, A Lie About My Father, was chosen as the Scottish Arts Council Novel of the Year and the Saltire Society Scottish Book of the Year. He lives in Fife.