The Massacre of Glencoe happened at 5am on 13th February 1692 when thirty-seven members of the Macdonald clan were killed by government troops who had enjoyed the clan's hospitality for the previous ten days. Many more died from exposure in the mountains.
Thirty miles to the north Corrag is condemned for her involvement in the Massacre. She is imprisoned, accused of witchcraft and murder, and awaits her death. The era of witch-hunts is coming to an end - but Charles Leslie, an Irish propagandist and Jacobite, hears of the Massacre and, keen to publicise it, comes to the tollbooth to question her on the events of that night, and the weeks preceding it. Leslie seeks any information that will condemn the Protestant King William, rumoured to be involved in the massacre, and reinstate the Catholic James.
Corrag - lonesome and resentful - agrees to talk to him in an effort to clear her name and bring the guilty to justice, but also because she sees Leslie as company for her, in her last few days. As she tells her story, and what lead her to her prison, Leslie's attachment to Corrag grows. He brings small gifts for her, and she, in turn, gives him cures for a sickness in his family. Slowly, their friendship develops.
In Coe, Susan Fletcher tells us the story of an epic historic event, and the unexpected but profound relationships that can come from the most unlikely places.