When a troubled and reclusive teacher from Iceland’s remote Westfjords travels to Australia’s outback to locate a mysterious woman from his past, he discovers a dark and shocking secret that will either consume him – or set him free.
THE PLOVER’S CRY is a family saga of love, loss and madness – and asks if the only way forward is to never look back.
'Mother mine, in the fold, fold
You need not be so sad, sad
You can wear my cast off rags,
So you can dance,
Icelandic folk tale
Set between Iceland's remote North West and South Australia's dusty outback THE PLOVER'S CRY is a mystery romance where WAKE IN FRIGHT meets THE ENGLISH PATIENT.
Written by Darren Markey
Stefan is waiting. The reclusive schoolteacher from Iceland’s remote Westfjords, is anticipating the return of the Golden Plover – the harbinger of Spring to the frozen island. The iconic bird’s coming also marks the annual letter from Eva – the mysterious and troubled woman from Stefan’s past. Eva – who loved to dance and dreamed of Hudenfolk, the ‘Hidden People’ – fled Iceland years ago from a secret shared by them both. She now works for her fiercely protective uncle Finn – a surly publican hiding in the dusty Australian outback town of Quorn, a world away from her wintery home and the troubles she thought long dead. And as Stefan will soon discover the mystery they share plunges deeper than he ever imagined, as ancestral demons come knocking.
Karin is also waiting. The recently arrived policewoman and single mother – hides her growing affection for the enigmatic Stefan – biding her time while sensing his pain, unable to help. When Eva’s letter finally arrives, along with a grave revelation – Stefan’s life is thrown into chaos. When Stefan disappears with no warning Karin is distraught – believing him gone from her life forever.
In the northern fishing village of Dalvik an infant girl is found buried beneath the receding ice – plunging the town into dread as ancient memories awake. When Karin is called in to investigate the terrible find – with the only clues the woollen blanket the child was wrapped in, and a bird figurine clutched in her tiny hand – Karin is faced with the awful truth as to the possible identity of the child. As her investigations lead to the local Carmelite monastery, the mystery only deepens around the infant lying years in a frozen grave.
Stefan arrives in Quorn to discover Eva has disappeared – leaving behind a town whispering rumours of strange events. With the locals treating him with intense suspicion – culminating in an attack led by an enraged Finn – Stefan flees into the desert in search of Eva, unaware of pursuers. Stefan’s journey is sabotaged – only to be rescued by an eccentric blind hermit – with a penchant for firearms and the old testament. A shocked Stefan is informed that a woman passed through on foot several days ago – with a young girl following her close behind, headed towards Razorback Lookout – north to the Flinders Ranges.
Stefan arrives at the lookout to find Eva in a delirious and maddened state. As he attempts to rescue Eva she reveals to Stefan that they had a child – a little girl called Loa. She abandoned Loa in the snow to hide their terrible secret – the half-siblings who had become unwitting lovers. In a moment of hysteria Eva falls from the lookout – plunging to the rocks below. As Stefan stares down at his dead sister, he sees a young girl sitting by the body – covering Eva with a woollen baby’s blanket before disappearing into the rocks. As Stefan climbs down to the body Finn appears above, ready to strike – only to catch a bullet from a unseeing guardian angel.
Stefan returns to Iceland and buries Eva next to their daughter. He also buries the past and looks to the future – and the life he can now lead with Karin.