Winner of the Ned Kelly Award for crime fiction.
Anne Carson is fifteen, beautiful, wayward. Abducted. The rich Carsons have closed ranks and summoned Frank Calder, subject to strict instructions. This is not the first kidnapping in the Carson family and hard lessons have been learned.
But are the two events connected? And is greed the motivation? Revenge? Or could it be something else? To find out, Frank Calder must go beyond his brief. And his every step into the darkness may end a girl's life.
'No summary or catalogue of details will do it justice. Read it for the writing and for where it says this sort of novel is today.' Age
Australian ex-cop Frank Calder, now a self-described mediator, has his hands full in this hard-hitting standalone from Ned Kelly Award winner Temple (Truth). At the invitation of Pat Carson, "patriarch of the Carson dynasty," Calder visits the family compound outside Melbourne, where he meets Pat and his two sons, Barry and Tom. Tom's 15-year-old granddaughter, Anne, has been kidnapped, and the family wants Calder to deliver the $1 million ransom. Despite reservations, Calder agrees, and is sucked into a situation dealing with not only the demands of the kidnappers but the dysfunctional Carsons, whose history includes the earlier kidnapping of Barry's then-11-year-old granddaughter, Alice. Calder has to wonder "what sort of curse lay on this family... that their children were stolen from them, that those they touched they marked with crosses of ash." Calder handles the rough and tumble, as well as the pampered and the spoiled, in this gritty, well-executed tale of greed and vengeance.