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In the grip of the worst drought in a century, the farming community of Kiewarra is facing life and death choices daily when three members of a local family are found brutally slain.
Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk reluctantly returns to his hometown for the funeral of his childhood friend, loath to face the townsfolk who turned their backs on him twenty years earlier.
But as questions mount, Falk is forced to probe deeper into the deaths of the Hadler family. Because Falk and Luke Hadler shared a secret. A secret Falk thought was long buried. A secret Luke's death now threatens to bring to the surface in this small Australian town, as old wounds bleed into new ones.
336 pages, Kindle Edition
First published May 31, 2016
Luke Hadler may have had a light on waiting for him when he came home, but something else from this wretched, desperate community had seeped through that front door and into his home. And it had been rotten and thick and black enough to extinguish that light forever.
He pushed open a heavy door to a hallway that smelled like sandwiches. Along the walls, kids' paintings and drawings were pinned up.
"Jesus, some of these are depressing," Raco murmured.
Falk could see what he meant. There were stick-figure families in which every face had a crayon mouth turned downward. A painting of a cow with angel wings. "Toffee My Cow in Heaven," the shaky caption read. In every attempt at landscape, the fields were colored brown.
"You should see the ones we didn't put up," Whitlam said, stopping at the office door. "The drought. It's going to kill this town."