Sweet Water Stolen Land is intriguing. Completely fictional with elements of true history interwoven, the book delves immediately into the issues of black resettlement and the church's involvement in removing Indigenous people from their traditional lands for the purposes of rural development.
Human flesh decays five times more slowly when wet. The rain began at two in the morning; by three, the naked bodies which lay in the shallow stormwater drain beside the railway track were half covered by a fast-running stream.
Doctor Jack Nugent never liked looking at dead people and he hated touching them. In spite of this, he acquired detailed knowledge as to what happened to human remains. In the small community of Utopia, in the middle of Australia, he'd picked up skills he simply never could have learned by staying in New York: Aboriginal ritual killings hardly ever happened there.
Perhaps it's also worth repeating the author's note:
Philip Ian McLaren was born in Redfern, Australia, one of seven children, a descendant of the Kamilaroi people from the Warrumbungle Mountain region in northwestern New South Wales. His first novel, Sweet Water, Stolen Land, won the 1992 David Unaipon Award.