“When Jack Rogan, celebrated author and journalist, stumbles on a mysterious clue pointing to the tragic disappearance of two girls from Alice Springs, he can’t resist investigating.
Rogan is joined by friends: Rebecca Armstrong, his New York literary agent, Andrew Simpson, a retired Aboriginal police officer and Cassandra, an enigmatic psychic as he follows the trail of the missing girls into the remote Dreamtime-wilderness of outback Australia.
Soon, past the point of no return, they enter a dark web of superstition and are drawn into the upside-down-world of an outlaw bikie gang where the ruler is an evil master, outcasts are heroes, and cruelty and violence is admired and rewarded.
Cassandra, though, has a secret agenda of her own. Using her occult powers to avenge an old, deep wrong, she sets the scene for an epic showdown where the stakes are high and the loser faces death and oblivion.
Will Rogan succeed? Will a desperate mother’s prayers be answered? Will a lost daughter be found? Or will the forces of evil crush all their hopes and dreams?”
PAVING THE WAY …
To pique your interest in preparation for the release of the book in November, I have a little surprise for you: each week until publication, I will release one chapter of the book as part of my blogs for you to sample and enjoy. So, by the time the book is available to the public at large, you will already be familiar with the characters and, hopefully, be irresistibly drawn into the dangerous, murky world of Anna Popov, eager to find out more …
Also, may I invite you to sign up for my blogs? That way you will be notified when each one is released and we can make sure you will not miss anything. Enjoy!
I first came across the story of Jandamarra and the Bunuba Resistance in the remote Kimberley in Western Australia. Leaning against a 700 year old boab tree with my Aboriginal guide – a Bunuba elder – I was looking up at the tall cliffs guarding the entrance to Windjana Gorge; his country.
his country. We had just visited some stunning Aboriginal rock art – haunting paintings thought to be more than twenty thousand years old. Rising like a fortress out of the glare, the tall cliffs – remnants of an ancient Devonian reef – formed a forbidding barrier between his world and mine.
‘This is where it all happened,’ the old man said, pointing into the deep gorge cut through the rock by the Lennard River. ‘And it wasn’t that long ago. Jandamarra’s cave is just up there.’
Jandamarra was an Aboriginal freedom fighter in the 1890s who refused to surrender his country and his freedom to the white settlers pushing relentlessly north.
As the shadows lengthened, I listened to the remarkable story of first contact between the Bunuba and the early Australian pastoralists. It was a stirring tale of heroism and despair, unspeakable brutality and acts of great courage. It was the final chapter in the long history of a proud people. With the story ending in tragedy, the painful words turned into a whisper of defeat, falling from the lips of one of its last true elders.
Caught between two worlds, Jandamarra had tried to find a way of embracing the new, but the old was in his blood and could not be denied.
This conflict is by no means over. It exists today. Colliding cultures send ripples of discord far into the future and affect generations. It is as relevant today as it was in Jandamarra’s time. The stage is the same, so is the plot. Only the actors are different.
As the embers of our campfire turned slowly to ash, I began to wonder … What if Jandamarra had lived today? What if…
Leura, Blue Mountains, Australia
PS Don’t forget to visit us again next Friday for the next instalment of THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ANNA POPOV. You won’t be disappointed; promise!