"Two sisters and a brother are found bludgeoned and shot to death in a paddock in 1898. The case is never solved - until Patrick Malone, more than half a century later, decides the time has come to sift the truth from the lies.
"What rises up to haunt us is a huge tribe of a family turned in upon itself, locked in its ignorance of anything else.
"This is a deeply disturbing novel with all the tension of a thriller - about the dark side of the lives and memories of pioneers who carved small farms from the ancient Australian forest."
"Quite simply, a masterpiece." - Dinny O'Hearn, Australian Listerner
"A magnificent achievement from a great story-teller..." - Mary Lord, Overland
"Wise...wonderful...harrowing...brave...beautiful. This is a book that makes demands on the reader's soul." - New York Times Book Review
"...a brilliant psychological investigation." - Age
There were crows in his eyes when he came right out with it, confessing that he had been the murderer. You could see them flapping in there. And now and again the glint of a beak. You can't tell me anything about crows I don't already know at eighty. Nor about him, either.
It's no good saying, like Norah used to, that I'm the one who always lets his imagination run riot. You ought to have seen the hungry fluttering in that look of his, those scavengers working away at the rotten flesh of corpses long dead and mostly forgotten.
Poor old bloke, the dill. Dismal is what you'd call him. Dismal the whole of his life. I can be sure of this because I knew him for all but the first couple of years of it.
From the McPhee Gribble paperback edition, 1989.
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Last modified: May 8, 2001.