Jean Bedford was born in Cambridge, England in 1946 and came to Australia in 1947. She was brought up in Victoria and after university taught English as a second language and worked as a journalist. She was Literary Editor of the National Times and now works as a literary consultant. In 1982 she won the Stanford Writing Fellowship and travelled to the United States to take it up. Jean Bedford's short stories have appeared in Nation Review, The National Times and Meanjin.
Hilda Trelawney, a resident of a sleepy fishing village on the Australian South coast, has recently been widowed.
Her husband Mark was found dead at the bottom of a dangerous cliff walk on the Shoalhaven River, and the cops have ruled the death an accident.
Hilda, however, is unconvinced. She hires private eye Anna Southwood to investigate the case.
Anna soon finds that this rural idyll is not as peaceful as it seems, with the local residents at war with property developers, who seek to destroy the natural parks to make way for housing complexes and resorts.
Mark was one of the key players in thwarting these plans - but could anyone have hated him enough to murder him?
On a quest to get to the bottom of it all, Anna finds herself uncovering corruption in the present and past; fanaticism and greed; and lies and more lies, as gradually she unpeels layers of concealment that have lain in place for more than forty years.