In the overbearing heat of an Australian summer, Laura Wishart has gone missing from the small mining town of Corrigan. Charlie knows that she is dead. Trying to find out why brings Charlie face to face with his neighbours' capacity for violence, prejudice and abuse. It's the summer that, in a turmoil of desperate questioning, puerile humour and life-sustaining friendship, Charlie becomes a man.
All I know is the end, the part where I walked in. But the rest of the story, all the parts before it, is still just a litter of torn leaflets. It seems so helpless and hopeless. I'm so small and weak in the wake of all this, in its sinister ripples. I wonder if we will ever find out for certain. I wonder how much I should really stake in Jasper and his assertions. Of course, it's an attractive notion; pinning it all on the town recluse with the shady history. But it seems so filled with coincidence and chance. It seems too convenient. Then again, maybe the simplest answer really is the most accurate. I wonder too if Jasper actually needs my help. Whether he came to my window looking for Atticus Finch or Tom Sawyer. A brain or an ally. Maybe both.