At the heart of this tense and at times times darkly comic novel is the relationship between two brothers bound by a terrible crime.
Paul and Mikey are on the run, apparently from the press surrounding their house after Mikey s release from prison. His crime child murder, committed when he was a boy.
As they travel, they move from one disturbing scenario to the next, eventually involving themselves with a bizarre religious cult.
The power between the brothers begins to shift, and we realise there is more to their history than Paul has allowed us to know.
Fallow by Daniel Shand is published in paperback by Sandstone Press on 17 November and is the author's debut novel.
Fallow is a novel that takes the reader on a journey, accompanying two brothers as they flee from the a situation that has consumed both of them for much of their lives.
It is quite a while before the reader realises that Mikey has spent the past ten years in prison, we are teased with Paul's memories of the day that changed their life. The day that Mikey was annoyed with his teacher and the two boys skived off school. The day that they came across a small girl; Gail Shaw, and tempted her into the woods. The day that Gail Shaw didn't return to her family.
It is clear that Paul does not want to lose Mikey again, and he convinces himself, and the reader that it is because he cares. He doesn't want Mikey to undergo more interviews, and tests. He wants them to put things behind them, to start again. Paul will stop at nothing to make sure that this happens.
Some of the people that the brothers meet on their travels are friendly, some are not. Some are suspicious, some want things from them. Most of them are dealt with by Paul. Coolly, calmly and with no hesitation. Until the day that they find themselves amongst a strange collection of people who follow a bizarre cult leader, this is when Paul falters and Mikey strengthens.
Tense, brutal, threatening and with sparks of deeply black humour, this is a story unlike any other that I've read. The author has written a novel that is deviously chilling, he has picked apart this intense relationship between two brothers and inspected each part, exposing the hidden and revealing the truth.
Fallow is compelling, convincing and incredibly accomplished. At times it is unflinchingly violent, yet there is a compassion and vulnerability woven into the madness. Chilling and powerful, Daniel Shand is a talented new author, certainly one to watch.
My thanks to the publisher who sent my review copy and invited me to take part in this Blog Tour.
Daniel Shand was born in Kirkcaldy in 1989 and currently lives in Edinburgh, where he is a PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh and a Scottish literature tutor.
His shorter work has been published in a number of magazines and he has performed at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.
He won the University of Edinburgh Sloan Prize for Fiction and the University of Dundee Creative Writing Award.
For more information visit www.daniel-shand.com
Follow him on Twitter @danshand