Freight Books Freight Books
The Waves Burn Bright by Iain Maloney

Format: paperback, B format, 198 x 129mm, 272pp

ISBN Code: 978-1-910449-82-0
Iain Maloney

Iain Maloney was born in Aberdeen and now lives in Japan where he teaches English and writes about travel, literature and music.

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The Waves Burn Bright

by Iain Maloney


In 1988 the Piper Alpha oil platform off the coast of Aberdeen, Scotland exploded, killing 167 men. The Waves Burn Bright is a deeply effecting, sensitive exploration of its devastating aftermath on one family.

Carrie Fraser is sixteen when the disaster occurs, her father Marcus one of the survivors. As the narrative moves between past and present the trauma blows open existing fractures, tearing the family apart. In adulthood and after many years living abroad, Carrie, now a respected volcanologist, is returning to Aberdeen to deliver a controversial academic paper. Carrie and her father are estranged, partly due to his post-traumatic stress and related alcoholism, a legacy of Piper Alpha. Will a reconciliation be possible or will the aftershocks of a tragedy that occurred twenty-five years before continue to drive father and daughter apart?

Praise for The Waves Burn Bright

‘The characters are well drawn and believable; the tortured survivor, struggling with dreams and the need to blot out memories with the bottle; the child damaged as much by the implosion of her parents’ marriage as the diaster; and the guilt ridden mother who has positioned herself outside the close unit of father and daughter but who still wants to revel in Carrie’s achievements. The night of the disaster is sensitively and evocatively handled.’ Scotsman

‘A cauldron of a book, bubbling with anger and magma which might at any moment spill over and bring further devastation. It is both particular to this tragedy in 1988, but also universal; a compelling story exploring how a father’s trauma sends shock waves through a family, changes the pattern of lives – particularly his daughter’s – and makes love risky. However, as well as being about damage and running away, it is also about healing.’ Linda Cracknell, author of Call of the Undertow and Doubling Back

‘With The Waves Burn Bright Maloney has written his best book to date, not only an entertaining and thoughtful one, but, I would suggest, an important one.’ Alastair Braidwood, Gutter

‘This novel deserves a wide readership. It will resonate with anyone who remembers the night of Piper Alpha; with anyone suffering PTSD, for any reason; with those trying to love them and live with them; with those trying to treat them; and with those more generally interested in understanding this area of human experience. It is also simply a compelling and highly engaging story, told with insight and compassion.’ Alison Miller, author of Demo

‘Iain Maloney has done it again. He has written a book that simply must be read… if you want to understand modern Scotland, this book is necessary.’ David Kenvyn

‘It’s hard to depict a real-life and relatively recent disaster like Piper Alpha without upsetting or offending survivors and relatives of the victims, and Maloney does his best to be respectful, lingering on the horrendous events on the oil and gas platform for only as long as he has to. His main concern is the trauma of the survivors, and he’s created a powerful portrayal of how the consequences of such a disruptive event can reverberate through people’s lives for decades afterwards.’ Paperback of the Week, Herald

‘Digging through a hard exterior to explore the layers beneath can be a dangerous and explosive exercise, whether that’s the earth’s crust or a human’s weaker shell. In this novel both are explored in equally compelling ways.’ Yorkshire Post

‘One of those rare, utterly enjoyable literary experiences where you find yourself disappointed to close the pages… it is a book that will stay with you.’ Nothing in the Rule Book