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My father trained me to silence the way he trained his dogs, with food and a cane. Speech, he said, was poison. It scared the game, alerted the gamekeepers and betrayed your friends and family.
Tom Clay was a poacher back in Suffolk. He was twelve when he was caught, tried and transported to New South Wales.
Now, assigned to a shepherds’ hut out west, he is a boy among violent men. He keeps his counsel and watches over his sheep; he steers clear of blowhards like the new man, Rowdy Cavanagh. He is alert to danger, knowing he is a foreigner here: that the land resists his understanding.
The question is: how fast can he learn?
Because a vicious killer named Dan Carver is coming for Tom and Rowdy. And if Tom can’t outwit Carver in the bush – and convince Rowdy to keep his stupid mouth shut – their deaths will be swift and cruel.
This riveting, fast-paced new novel from the multi-award-winning Catherine Jinks brings the brutality and courage of Australia’s colonial frontier vividly to life – and sees one of our master storytellers at the peak of her powers.
‘Shepherd is the latest addition to the Australian outback horror genre and will appeal to readers of Jock Serong and Garry Disher.’
‘Fast-paced, emotional, frightening and full of detail, it’s history made as entertaining and as gripping as a night at the movies.’
’I’ve always thought there should be more outback horror and Catherine Jinks has come up withthe goods.’
‘Highly readable, richly characterised, beautifully written…The tension ratchets up and never dissipates.‘
‘Jinks paints a riveting picture.’
‘A gripping historical yarn’