In the summer of 1979, a tamed grizzly bear is tempted by the lure of freedom and the wild open sea . . .
Meanwhile, the sudden death of British diplomat Nicky Fleming has left his wife closed down with shock. Relocated from Cold-War-riven Germany to a remote Hebridean island, Letty Fleming is haunted by the unthinkable - was it an accident, murder or suicide? And how can she ever begin to explain to her three children that their father may have betrayed his country?
Struggling to find solace in a place she loves, Letty begins to unravel the mystery of Nicky's death, but her determination to protect the children from the truth blinds her to the demons they are already battling.
As the family's secrets threaten to tear them apart, it is only the strange but brilliant Jamie who manages to hold on to the one thing he knows for sure: his father has promised to return, and Nicky Fleming was a man who never broke a promise . . .