Results of the Whitbread Book Award in the year 1985.
On the moors above Haverston an unknown beast is at large. It is savage and destructive, attacking the livestock. Haverston itself is threatened by another beast—the threat of unemployment—as the local mill is about to close. Billy lives with his father and grandfather. He sees the beast as a symbol of the turmoil and uncertainty in his own life and decides to track it down and kill it. But it is a terrifying challenge, which he meets alone on the moors.