Dark Waters by Catherine MacPhail
Col McCann is used to being in trouble. It is always the McCann family the police turn to when there is trouble - mainly because of his elder brother Mungo of course, who is generally at the centre of it. But Col adores Mungo, who always seems to be in control. He is the big man of the family since their father was killed. But one day Col discovers what it is like to be seen in a completely different light. Having bunked off school one cold winter's day, he goes to his favourite place, the loch. There he sees a younger boy teetering dangerously on the ice, testing it. When he falls in, Col realises there is no one else to save this boy apart from him. So he dives into the icy water, half drowns himself but saves the boy. He wakes up in hospital to local acclaim. He is a hero! Nothing like this has happened before to a McCann! Col can't resist going back to the loch, and there meets Klaus. Klaus, a refugee with, it appears, a genuine fear of Mungo, leads Col to a devastating truth about his brother. Col's loyalty to his family and his need to do what is right are put head to head in direct conflict. A testing and powerful novel from an acclaimed and prize-winning author.