This is a long novel, a tapestry of life in rural Australia with all the characters, the localities, the climate and the social life so finely pictured that not one single aspect of the portrayal jars. Reminiscent of John Steinbeck's wonderful pen pictures of rural America and the unique characters that dwelt therein. The story line is good and well maintained. The language is rough but not aggressively Australian and laced with typical wit. The racial prejudice is infiltrated throughout the story so imperceptibly that it becomes almost acceptable as a normal attitude, as does the behavior of the senior policeman in the small station. It is only as the story draws to its rather horrifying conclusion that the reader begins to realize its skillful condemnation of the average Australian's apathy towards bad social attitudes and political intrigue. This is not to suggest the tale degenerates into a lecture on morality. It is an excellent read throughout.