The environmental protestors murmured, and Rory stepped forward. ‘Your hunting has destroyed our hills and left them treeless wastes, devoid of wildlife. It’s time that changed.’
‘Listen, you lentil-eating cat lover,’ Purdey barked through the megaphone, ‘men like me own Scotland. If we want to kill anything that moves and turn the whole damn place into a theme park, we’ll do it.’
Someone from the group of protestors hurled a turnip. It struck Purdey and he crumpled to the ground. Just as the archaic class system he represents must eventually fall, Angus thought with a grin.
In his first two bestselling books, The Last Hillwalker and Bothy Tales, John D. Burns invited readers to join him in the hills and wild places of Scotland. In Sky Dance, he returns to that world to ask fundamental questions about how we relate to this northern landscape – while raising a laugh or two along the way. Anyone who has gazed at the majesty of the Scottish mountains will know this place and want to return to it. Now, as wild land is threatened like never before, it’s time we asked ourselves what kind of future we want for the Highlands.
John D. Burns is a bestselling and award-winning mountain writer who has spent over forty years exploring Britain’s mountains. Originally from Merseyside, he moved to Inverness over thirty years ago to follow his passion for the hills. He is a past member of the Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team and has walked and climbed in the American and Canadian Rockies, Kenya, the Alps and the Pyrenees. John began writing more than fifteen years ago, and at first found an outlet for his creativity as a performance poet. He has taken one-man plays to the Edinburgh Fringe and toured them widely around theatres and mountain festivals in the UK. It is the combination of John’s love of the outdoors with his passion for writing and performance that makes him a uniquely powerful storyteller. His first two books, The Last Hillwalker and Bothy Tales, were both shortlisted for The Great Outdoors magazine’s Outdoor Book of the Year. His third book, Sky Dance, is published in 2019. He continues to develop his career as a writer, blogger and outdoor storyteller while exploring the wild places he loves.
Charlie, the third generation of the Buchanan family to occupy the Rafter B ranch, had joined the army nine years ago because of continual feuding with his father, old C.S. Buchanan. Upon separation from Special Forces, he returns to the ranch because of a feeling of familial obligation to carry on its hundred-year tradition. He finds the ranch in disrepair and occupied only by C.S. and Buck Travers, the elderly ranch foreman. They are aged and irascible, constantly sniping at each other, and virtually uninterested in the prosperity or appearance of the Rafter B. Worse, C.S. is under siege by various governmental agenciesIdaho Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Environment Protection Agency, I.R.S., and the Forest Service are all sniping at him for various transgressions. Although discharged from the Service, Charlie remains very patriotic and cannot believe the irrational stand his government is taking on some of these issues. C.S. is served with a warrant for draining a wetland and has to appear in District Court. Charlie seeks the legal aid of Henry J. Twilling, the only local attorney, and is informed of a number of egregious actions taken by the E.P.A. in such matters in the past.
The local militia group, the Christian Guard Tabernacle, and its ordained-by-mail minister, Clete Jarvis, volunteer their assistance to the Buchanan cause, but Charlie finds their creed too bigoted and violently racist, clothed though it is in religious trappings. He shuns them.
A trial date is set, but before it arrives the wolves get among the Rafter B cattle. C.S. shoots a wolf in full view of some Fish and Wildlife agents who are in a helicopter overhead. They swoop down, arrest him, and place him in handcuffs. He suffers a heart attack under the emotional strain and dies on the spot. Charlie considers this the ultimate harassment and he sets out to kill the reintroduced wolf pack as his anti-government statement.
His ill-advised mission carries over into the winter season and becomes a grim wilderness adventure. His intentions cause much anger in Amy Richards, Charlies lover, who is a strong environmentalist. She reports his actions to the local sheriff. Soon Charlies hunt for the wolves involve him and sometimes the militia group on one side of the struggle, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Sheriff Baxter, National Guard helicopters with their infra red heat scanning, in concert with the brutal winter weather on the other side. After three in the wolf pack have been killed, B-17, the old alpha male, also becomes a hunter and antagonist of Charlie Buchanan.
In the end, the struggle focuses on B-17 and Charlie alone. Only one survives in this novel which, being essentially pro-wolf in nature, illustrates clearly that many levels of predatory activity exist in our society. The wolves are not the only predators.
The Admiral, the Godfather of B.A.M.B.I., skillfully dupes his thousands of well-meaning members out of millions of dollars and, when about to be exposed, he engineers a diabolical scheme to save himself, his organization and his already tattered reputation. Innocent people, as well as zealots bent on preserving their twisted beliefs, die in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains before this complex mystery reveals its surprising outcome.
But everyone aboard Black Anemone has a secret, or something to live down. Her crew—including a beautiful but narcissistic film celebrity, an Afghan War veteran in search of the buzz of combat, and an enigmatic, obsessive captain—will confront hostile whalers, brutal weather, dangerous ice, near-mutiny, and romantic conflict. But no one aboard is prepared for what Nature herself has in store . . . when they're targeted by a massive creature with a murderous agenda of its own.
Filled with violence, beauty, and magical evocations of life in the most remote waters on Earth, The Whiteness of the Whale is a powerful adventure by a master novelist.