The following morning all four awake feeling not quite right. By lunchtime they are seriously ill. They consult a book in the kitchen – a guide to wild mushrooms – and leaf through until they find a photograph. Anxiously they scan the text, and see the chilling words: deadly poisonous.

The local GP is called urgently. The four are rushed into the local Highland hospital in Elgin. Ambulances race them down to the renal unit at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. On the journey the man begins to convulse, his body shuddering and shaking uncontrollably. He fears he is about to die.

“Nicholas Evans: ‘Guilt is My Subject. I’ve Taken Research to an Extreme Degree’.” — Decca Aitkenhead, The Guardian

See more #longreads from The Guardian