Harper Fox is an exceptionally gifted writer. Scrap Metal is a testament to that. Because you don't simply read this story. You experience it. You experience the breathtaking beauty of the Isle of Arran, and Seacliff Farm. The elements of nature. The sounds of vehicles, animals and the people (at some point I realised I read the dialogue with a Scottish intonation. No kidding.)And you experience the characters and the spectrum of their feelings as if they're part of the island, the landscape. Desolation and despair and resignation and helplessness and grief are interwoven with cold and rain and sleet and the gloom of the dark Scottish winter. Hope and laughter and love and lust and desire are connected with spring, the summer sun, the sounds of a waterfall, flowers, earth, nature. I can't really explain it. But it's beautiful. So beautiful. There's also a very light touch of the paranormal that lends the story an additional mystical air. There were some parts that didn't make much sense (for instance, Nichol claimed he had received an email even though we later learned he didn't own a computer), and the crime parts near the end were rudimentary and hasty, as was the last 20% or so of the story. Also, the book ended and I still hadn't really understood where the author was taking the relationship between Archie and Shona. The character I felt I understood the most was the grandfather, Harry. Nichol and, mostly, Cameron, although strong and likable and clear, could have been developed more.But those were minor issues and they won't be what I'll remember this book for. Some people have mentioned in their reviews they find Harper Fox's writing too lyrical and difficult to follow. To me, it's simply beautiful.Scrap Metal was my first book by Ms Fox and I don't know whether it's her best, but I fully intend to find out.