The Only Child by Kayte Nunn
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my seventh novel

Out September 2022

Almost every graduating class had a girl who disappeared.

A decades-old crime threatens to tear apart three generations of women in this unputdownable mystery that will keep you gripped until its last heart-wrenching page.

It is the coldest winter Orcades Island has ever known, when a pregnant sixteen-year-old girl arrives at Fairmile, a home for ‘fallen women’ run by the Catholic Church. She and her baby will disappear before the snow melts.

Frankie Gray has come to the island for the summer, hoping for one last shot a reconnecting with her teenage daughter, Izzy, before starting a job as a deputy sheriff. They are staying with her mother, Diana, at The Fairmile Inn, soon to be a boutique hotel, but when an elderly nun is found dead in suspicious circumstances, and then a tiny skeleton is discovered in the grounds of the house, Frankie is desperate for answers.

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‘A taut, clever whodunit… Kayte Nunn keeps the stakes high and the characters compelling, making for a fast, fresh, engrossing historical mystery.’


A well-paced story with finely drawn characters – and it’s hard to put down.’


‘A deeply moving and unflinching look at a past when women’s reproductive rights were denied  and the devastating trauma it caused. This is a harrowing, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful story that resonates in today’s world.’ 


‘I love it when I start a book and am immediately pulled into the story. The Only Child by Kayte Nunn delivered on that count and more. The depiction of a pregnant girl sent in shame to Fairmile in 1949, interwoven with the modern-day tale of the family now occupying the same building, was expertly detailed. Richly drawn characters, masterful storytelling, and a slowly unraveling mystery kept me on the edge of my seat, right up until the satisfying ending. Highly recommended.’

– Karen McQuestion

Kayte Nunn

International best-selling author

I’ve loved books since I was young enough to curl up and escape into their magical worlds. To be able to create characters and settings that feel real to me and my readers and weave stories around them is the greatest privilege.

For me, the starting point of a story is often an image, perhaps a person or several people in a landscape and I write to discover what has happened to them and what is about to happen.

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