'The Divide' is the fourth novel from Nicholas Evans, the American author of the bestselling 'The Horse Whisperer'. That novel was made into a successful Robert Redford-starring film in 1998 and 'The Divide' also seems to have been written with one eye to a future film-adaptation.

The narrative starts at the end of the story, with two cross-country skiers stumbling across a young woman's ice-encased body in a remote stream. When she is quickly identified as Abbie Cooper, already wanted by the FBI for murder and eco-terrorism, we are introduced to her family - divorced parents Ben and Sarah and her younger brother Josh. From there the story flips back to the beginning, tracing the dynamics of this fractured family and the events that led to the solitary death of a beloved daughter and sister on the side of a Montana mountain.

There are two stories in 'The Divide', with Evans' depiction of the breakdown of a marriage being much more realistic than the more far-fetched destruction of young Abbie's life. He is a good storyteller, however, and this is undoubtedly a page-turner although the plot is not likely to linger long after you finish the book. What will remain with you are Evans' loving descriptions of the formidable, and sometimes deadly, Montana landscape.

Caroline Hennessy