Gary Disher was born in 1949 and grew up on his parents' farm in South Australia. He gained post graduate degrees from Adelaide and Melbourne Universities. In 1978 he was awarded a creative writing fellowship to Stanford University, where he wrote his first short story collection. He travelled widely overseas, before returning to Australia, where he taught creative writing, finally becoming a full time writer in 1988. He has written more than 40 titles, including general and crime fiction, children's books, textbooks, and books about the craft of writing.
When Hirsch heads up Bitter Wash Road to investigate the gunfire he finds himself cut off without back-up. A pair of thrill killers has been targeting isolated farmhouses on lonely backroads, but Hirsch’s first thought is that ‘back-up’ is nearby—and about to put a bullet in him. That’s because Hirsch is a whistleblower. Formerly a promising metropolitan officer, now demoted and exiled to a one-cop station in South Australia’s wheatbelt. Called a dog by his brother officers. Threats; pistol cartridge in the mailbox. But the shots on Bitter Wash Road don’t tally with Hirsch’s assumptions. The truth turns out to be a lot more mundane. And the events that unfold subsequently, a hell of a lot more sinister.