After her country town is devastated by a deadly bushfire blamed on arson, school principal Phoebe finds out that her teenage son Caleb is the suspect. Not only does he fit the profile of an arsonist on several counts, he was also missing for a period of that horrific day. And the next-door neighbour already has it in for Caleb as she blames him for her son’s injuries from a previous incident. So as Phoebe finds herself shunned by most of the townfolk, she starts investigating in a bid to clear her son’s name.
This story comes out after a summer in which the east coast of Australia made international headlines for its rolling bushfires. The author really captures the intensity of being trapped by fire as well as the town’s ordeal as it deals with the fallout of catastrophic losses of lives and property. Not only is a very atmospheric read, it is also a gripping tale about the lengths a mother will go to protect her child.