Long-listed for the International Rubery Award 2012 1840. Aberdeen, Scotland. When the body of a local shipwright is found on the beach, the customers and suppliers he cheated and the women he abused feel no sympathy. But the mystery intrigues woodcarver John Grant, who determines to seek out the killer. His work and his investigations bring him into contact with William Anderson, a rich merchant, and his daughter Helen. Commissioned to create a figurehead that combines the features of two women, John eventually uncovers a sordid tale of blackmail and death as, simultaneously, he struggles to resist the pangs of unexpected love.