Hal is a doctor coming to terms with the loss of her son. She becomes almost obsessed with a mysterious teenage patient and as a result finds herself taken on as the doctor to a group of road protestors.
The group have very legitimate concerns over the local road building programme and later start to campaign against a local factory that's polluting the marshlands. However their actions become more and more extreme, particularly when Hal decides to use their protests to settle some personal scores. Some pretty gruesome stuff goes on as the book moves towards its climax.
This novel makes the reader think carefully about what is justifiable in campaigning and how easy it is to get caught up in action without thinking of all the consequences. At the same time it's quite an uneven read, in terms of pacing. It starts off slowly then builds up very quickly once Hal joins the protestors but then once the climax has passed, it seems to slow right down again and in fact I found the last part almost boring in comparison to the first two thirds or so, which are compelling.
Worth reading for anyone interested in the ethics of protest movements.
Noise by Jonathan Myerson, published by Headline Review