A bridge collapses in the Highlands causing many deaths. Pictures taken of the approach road immediately before the collapse show a car hired by a woman tourist driving onto the bridge, which does not reach the other side. The only living person who knows that she was not actually in the car when it fell from the bridge is the woman herself, and she has powerful reasons for using the event as an opportunity to disappear from the world she knows.
"Across the Bridge" by Morag Joss is a book about three lost souls drawn together by events far larger than any of them. It is a book about identity, about hope, about love, and ultimately about revenge. The narrative unfolds in the first person through the eyes and in the voices of the three main characters: Annabel, as she becomes in her new life; Silva, an illegal immigrant who has not seen her husband and child since the fall of the bridge; and Ron, a man with his own reasons for wanting to leave the past behind. The complex relationships between the three and their efforts to deal with the world around them drive the book forward to a conclusion that is both gripping and unexpected.
The story is nominally set in the Highlands, and the bridge that collapses is somewhere near Inverness. The reader soon gets used to the idea that the geography is more symbolic than literal, and the result is a dreamy quality that serves to further isolate the main characters from their reality, and from ours. The Inverness in this book lies, like the real one, on an estuary, but at its head in the book we find the fictional Netherloch with, somewhere beyond it, Fort Augustus. More important to the symbology is that the Inverness we encounter here lies near one end of the bridge, and represents the forces of civilisation, with all the pluses and minuses that go with that: while the far end of the bridge is the gateway to some sort of untamed wilderness. The author's play on geography adds to the deliberately disorienting effect of elements of the book, and you very quickly accept that the setting could as easily, or in some ways more easily, be a bridge separating a city from the wild country in the United States or anywhere else.