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In 1973 Jamess seventeen-year-old sister, Maria, disappeared while on her way home from school. Her disappearance not only shattered her family, it had strange, far-reaching repercussions for her ten-year-old brother. He was too young to fully understand what had happened but was left to cope alone while his parents struggled to deal with his sisters disappearance. Over thirty years later the police arrive on Jamess doorstep to tell him that Marias remains have been found outside Broken Hill, an isolated mining town nearly half way across Australia from where she was last seen. But it is a town that had strong connections with his family back when his sister went missing. Now James knows she was murdered, and where she was hidden for all these years, he has to ask was it family or a friend who killed her. Or a stranger. With her discovery Maria becomes more real for James, she is a sudden violent death in the family, and he sets out to try to discover what his sister was really like as well as what happened to her, while he struggles to come to terms with what her disappearance meant for him in the past. As he seeks answers James discovers the different memories people have of that time long ago and of a young woman standing on the edge of adulthood, who may have been quiet and shy or who may have been spoiled and living dangerously.

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