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The new outback mystery from Australia’s most authentic rural writer and beloved voice of the bush.

When Orla Macrae receives a letter asking her to return to the family cattle property where she grew up, she does so grudgingly. Her estranged uncle Palmer may be dying, but he is the last person she wants to see, not when she’s made a new life far away from where she lost so much. But on his deathbed he utters a few enigmatic words about a secret locked away and a clue as to its whereabouts.

Intrigued, Orla decides to stay, reconnecting with old friends and taking a chance on a long-time dream of opening the homestead to tourists. Continuing the search for her uncle’s elusive secret, she discovers far more than she bargained for – a shocking truth about her parents’ marriage, and the confession of a chilling murder.

Set in the stunning countryside north of the Barrier Ranges near Broken Hill, this is an authentic tale of life on the land and a gripping mystery about old family secrets and finding love in the harsh Australian bush.

Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback


    July 17, 2017

    Michael Joseph

    368 pages

    RRP $32.99

    Online retailers

    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Dymocks
    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    July 17, 2017

    Penguin eBooks

    368 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle AU
    • iBooks
    • Google Play EBook AU
    • Kobo Ebook
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks


The letter arrived in my absence. Rose’s birthday was coming up; that’s Rose Buchan, my friend, landlady, surrogate mother and grandmother rolled into one. She and her husband, Kevin, were the only reason I was on King Island, so her birthday gift required something more than the little township of Currie had to offer. It was the reason I had boarded the ridiculously small ferry to brave the boisterous waters of Bass Strait. When I returned a day or two later, shaken, and thankful for the feel of dry land beneath my feet again, the missive was waiting for me, the outer envelope stiff and official looking, marked with the logo of the bank, and postmarked Emu Springs.

My instinct was to ignore it. Normally the only commu­nication I had from my bank was my monthly statement, but this envelope was too thick to contain only that. I dropped it onto the dressing table, then paused in my unpacking to turn back and stuff it into a drawer. Out of sight, out of mind. Later, after dinner and an evening spent in the cosy atmos­phere of Kevin’s den where I recounted details of my trip to him and Rose, I fished the letter out again and reluctantly held it up to the light. Through the thickness of the envelope, the faint outline of another was visible.

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