‘There must be payback.’ ‘There must, you are right,’ Grandfather agrees. ‘What can you offer in exchange?’ Grandfather holds up his arms, open, offering himself as a sacrifice. ‘I am old.’ Deklan ‘Dek’ Archer and his mates arrive at school to a tense atmosphere. ‘Old Mate’, Mr Henry, who has lived in town for a long time, has been found murdered. He had been selling grog on the black market for years. To add to these worries, the Year 12s, who were on camp, are now missing. The police think there is a link between the missing students and the murder. Dek and his friends are torn.
Dek and Willum, his best mate, have an important football match that evening – professional recruiters are in town. Neither wants to let their coach down but they feel they must search for their friends. Deklan’s grandfather, a renowned tracker with certain otherworld gifts turns up, and expects him to go bush. This choice will change Dek’s life and family forever.
A journey that moves deep in to an ancient landscape uncovers secrets, and the past, which is never far away, continues to call them. Both are tracking the truth but something is watching and hunting them.
Dek and his best friend Willum are both excited about the upcoming footy match. The big league recruiters are in town, and this is their chance to impress them.
But when they turn up at school they discover that the Year 12 class have gone missing on school camp, and the whole place is on edge.
The police think there is a link between the murder of old Mr Henry, who has been selling grog and drugs for years, and the missing students.
Dek’s grandfather is a well known tracker, and when he insists Dek goes with him to help find the kids, they head deep into the bush. Both have a feeling that is drawing them in the same direction, and they follow their instincts, but who is watching them?
This is a great story centred around Dek and Willum and their Aboriginal community, and set in a small town. The highlight is the relationship between Dek and his grandfather, and their understanding and connection to the land around them. It is also a fantastic mystery story as well - with a very unexpected ending!
A wonderful read for those aged 14 and above.
Reviewed by Michelle