“Rich in character and period atmosphere, this effective blend of family saga and historical mystery will please fans of Jeffrey Archer and Wilbur Smith.”


This would be considered an old fashioned western but it takes place in the Outback in Australia in the late 1890’s. It is the story of 2 family’s, the Sullivans who are rich and own so much of the land, and the McBrides who lease a small part of that land from the Sullivans. The father of the McBride family once worked for John Sullivan but now there is nothing but hard feelings between the two. McBride has two teenage sons Billy, the oldest and Tommy and a younger daughter named Mary.

The story gets moving early on when on a hunting trip the boys go onto Sullivan land and witness a horrific event. John Sullivan is with Edmund Noone, an inspector on the police force and they have 3 black men in chains. There are a few black policeman with them. The boys watch as one of the arrested men can’t keep up, so he is shot and killed where he falls. As this happens the boys are noticed by Noone and he and Sullivan threaten the boys to stay off his land.

Noone and Sullivan are trying to rid the country of the aborigine population, and they have hired black policeman to help them do it.

The boys don’t tell the father everything as the family is caught in a severe draught and the family is barely surviving.

The next day while hunting with their father and 2 black workers who live on their property they discover the other 2 convicts burned and hanging from a tree. This will start the chain of events that turn this novel into one of hatred and revenge. Billy and Tommy will be exposed to events that someone their age should never see, and when they need to turn to John Sullivan for help, the circle will be complete. From that moment their lives will be in danger every minute of the day.

This is a novel built on suspense. The fact that underage boys not wise enough to read between the lines can be forced into the ultimate life or death situations are the moving force of the story, and the reader is drawn with them page after page wondering how they will endure. Highly recommended.


Reviewed by:

Richard Franco

Added 10th April 2018

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Richard Franco