Dr Nina Crawford of the University of Glasgow's Vet School - driven, fanatically dedicated, a survivor - is one of the most respected animal surgeons in the country. But now she seems to be losing her grip. On her operating theatre, on her skills - and on her mind. After routine operations, horses are dying of the highly infectious E. Coli endotoxaemia, and even when the theatre is sterilised the outbreak isn't stemmed. Under the fierce scrutiny of those around her, Nina feels herself spiralling into the depths that led her, years before, to attempt suicide. Kellen Stewart, heroine of Manda Scott's astonishing debut novel "Hen's Teeth," is Nina's friend and therapist. Now her horse needs emergency surgery, and she is catapulted into Nina's tragic dilemma. And soon it becomes clear that not only horses' lives are on the line.