Jack has come home to New Zealand. He’s getting old and he’s tired.
When Jack sets off by boat from the coast, inland along a meandering tidal river to his hometown, he’s doing a favour for the Australian police — or so he hopes. Along the way, while discovering sites of what might be unexplained or even ancient occupation, he runs into trouble in Northland’s forests and wetlands.
19th century battles between British colonisers and indigenous Maori leave scars for Jack to find, and the past but ever-present events of his ancestors spill over, into, and through his journey.
Modern Maori-Pakeha relations are explored by Jack and others, and the criminal element is never far away as Jack makes friends — and enemies too.
Some will stop at nothing to keep the past buried.