The Incident

The Incident

3.48 (42 ratings by Goodreads)
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'Certainly there are ghosts in these towers. For me they are the ghosts of two children. And even now - ten years later and seven hundred miles away - I still wake most nights with the muffled echo of their cries in my ears and the weight of their deaths on my conscience...'

Three lives; three turning points. Craig was a teenage lifeguard on a beach in Germany when two children died on his watch. It should never have happened. He was an expert swimmer. His grandfather, Gordon McInnes was on board a ship torpedoed during the war. He survived by clinging to the body of one of his colleagues. Years later, he met one of the crew of the U boat that attacked his ship. Gerd is a refugee of the Cold War. Recruited by the Stasi at a very young age, he escaped to the west after his mission went terribly wrong. He never went back.

The Incident is a searingly powerful novel about fate; about those moments that change the course of a life forever. It is also a book about history, from the Second World war through to the current day, and the way incidents long past can have reverberate across generations.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 143 x 220 x 31mm | 466g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0297866931
  • 9780297866930
  • 2,235,138

Review quote

Gripping...The course of the long, hot day leading up to the tragedy on the beach pulsates with dread and fear, and is engrossingly broken up by a middle section, describing a man named Gerd's astonishing escape from East Berlin as a teenager in 1969' -- Catherine Taylor * THE GUARDIAN * And all the while we await "the incident" - which, when it comes is beautifully written, well-paced and surprising. Proof that Macleod is a fiction strategist of talent. -- Tom Adair * THE SCOTSMAN * A thought-provoking literary page-turner * SYDNEY MORNING HERALD * the opening is a truly stunning account of ship torpedoed during the Second World War. Gordon McInnes survives the attack, and years later his grandson is a teenage lifeguard on a beach in Germany when two children die on his watch. The novel concerns three turning points that change the course of three lives forever -- Alice O'Keeffe * THE BOOKSELLER * With lively dialogue and descriptive passages, this is an absorbing and emotional tale that spans two generations. -- Louise Purser * STAR magazine * Stunning...It is a wonderful story about fate and the small important details that make us who we are; the events that change us irrevocably and how they continue to resonate through time. A powerfully perceptive debut from Kenneth McLeod. * WE LOVE THIS BOOK * With its almost exclusively male cast of characters and easy conversational tone, this notably readable first work defies easy categorization. Not a thriller, social drama or bildungsroman - though containing elements of all three - it nevertheless offers compelling tale-spinning marked by a strong sense of foreboding and hallucination-sharp detail. As a beach read it's a striking cautionary tale. -- Elsbeth Lindner * BOOKOXYGEN * Compelling * UNDISCOVEREDSCOTLAND.CO.UK *
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About Kenneth MacLeod

Kenneth Macleod was born in Glasgow in 1972. He began working as a newspaper reporter at the age of seventeen then worked in the Scottish media for twelve years, before completing a Masters in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. He divides his time between Glasgow and Berlin, where he works as a tour guide. THE INCIDENT is his first novel.
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Rating details

42 ratings
3.48 out of 5 stars
5 10% (4)
4 40% (17)
3 40% (17)
2 7% (3)
1 2% (1)
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