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Waterline by Ross Raisin: Review
A desolate tale of grief and guilt on society’s margins by one of Yorkshire's finest young writers

In his blistering debut, God’s Own Country, Ross Raisin used his native Yorkshire as the backdrop to the story of a rural sociopath run amok. There was no more startling work of fiction published in 2008.

Raisin again focuses on society’s fringes in his new book, if in a more compressed, economical manner. We witness – step by wrenching step – the swift unravelling and fragile rehabilitation of Mick, a Glaswegian former shipbuilder whose wife, Cathy, has died from asbestos-related cancer, the asbestos that Mick brought home, 20 years before, clinging to his work overalls.

The great shipbuilding industry of the Clyde long since ceased, Mick is too flattened by grief to return to his current job as a minicab driver. Once his sons have left following Cathy’s funeral, Mick finds himself in stasis.

Half out of his mind with loss, he suffers acute guilt at the manner of Cathy’s death and his perceived responsibility for it – though he also viciously blames Cathy’s brother, a former shipyard manager, for concealing the dangers of the lethal substance which has insidiously cut short so many lives.

For the full review

The Telegraph