Patricia Wolf has been a journalist for more than 15 years, a regular contributor to titles including The Guardian, the Financial Times, The Independent and The Telegraph, among others. She grew up in outback Australia, in a mining town called Mount Isa in far north-west Queensland – eagle eyed readers will have spotted a small reference to it in her first book, OUTBACK. Patricia loves the rugged beauty, indigo sky and wide horizons of the outback, but left Australia after university to travel the world and became a journalist. She lives in Berlin, Germany, but the outback always calls her home. In 2019, just before the covid pandemic locked us all in, Patricia spent two months in northwest Queensland, taking a four-week road trip. As she drove and spent nights and days surrounded by the beauty and rugged harshness of the outback, DI Lucas Walker and his stories came to be.
Two missing backpackers. One vast outback.
DS Lucas Walker is on leave in his hometown, Caloodie, looking after his dying grandmother. When two young German backpackers vanish from the area on their way to a ranch, he finds himself unofficially on the case. But why all the interest from the Federal Police, when they have probably just ditched the heat and dust of the outback for the coast?
As the number of days the couple are missing climbs, DS Walker is joined by the girl's sister. A detective herself from Berlin, she is desperate to find her before it's too late.
Walker remains convinced there is more at play. Working in the organised crime unit has opened his eyes to the growing drug trade in Australia's remote interior. Could this be connected?
As temperatures soar, the search intensifies to a thrilling crescendo against the unforgiving backdrop of the scorching Australian summer.