This is a very well written book. The depiction of a drought-ravaged outback Australian town is excellent, and the bushfire sequence is superb. The characters are well drawn. The only reason I don't give it 5 stars is that the last quarter or so is just too complicated -- too many characters involved in too many crimes. I really wanted to get to the end to see who did what, but it became, "Hang on -- she knew? He knew? He told her what? Or did he? Now the other guy's involved too?" Obviously re-reading may make things clearer, or so I hope, because one needs a spread-sheet to keep track of who knew/did/was what, and why. Despite that, I recommend it as a damn good Australian yarn, one that will join "The Dry" in setting a fashion for what-goes-on-in-droughts Aussie fiction, but more interesting. If only the last part could have kept up the taut writing of the firt 3/4, and the plot hadn't gone out of control.