Stephen Orr is the author of several published works of fiction and non-fiction. His novel Time's Long Run was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award in 2011.
It was a butcher on smoko who reported the man stashing the kid in the car boot. He didn't really know whether he'd seen anything at all, though. Maybe an abduction? Maybe just a stressed-out father.
Detective Bart Moy, newly returned to the country town where his ailing, cantankerous father still lives, finds nothing. As far as he can tell no one in Guilderton is missing a small boy. Still, he looks deeper into the butcher's story — after all, he had a son of his own once.
But when the boy does turn up, silent, apparently traumatised, things are no clearer. Who is he? Where did he come from and what happened to him?
For Moy, gaining the boy's trust becomes central not just to the case but to rebuilding his own life. From the wreckage of his grief, his dead marriage and his fractured relationship with his father may yet come a chance for something new.