Patricia Carlon (1927-2002) was born in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, but during her life was mostly unknown / under-appreciated by publishers in Australia. Fortunately she lived just long enough to see local interest revive in her work, but not long enough to see the justified increased interest.
The contentious relatives living on the remote Forst sheep station are united against an interloper from Sydney who was hired to nurse old Mrs. Forst in her last illness. Now the heir, Gregory Forst, has become engaged to marry her and the others fear that they will be turned out of the valley. A bushfire rages, threatening all of their homesteads. And then, the charred body of a swagman is found. How did he die? Could he have been murdered? By the outsider, the nurse? Who, really, is Linda Condrick?