We have come here to scratch for gold. Once we had a house, a business and a Packard sedan, but they are gone now, seized by the bank.
1934: The Great Depression. In a restless settlement of miners’ huts in the goldfields, far from the nearest town, fifteen-year-old Neil and his parents are hoping to strike it lucky and leave poverty behind. But the gold is elusive.
Then a mysterious American, Ivan, and his daughter Kitty arrive, and intrigue strikes the camp. Are Ivan and Kitty really circus runaways? Is it true that Ivan has killed a man? And is Kitty really Ivan’s daughter? Neil is drawn to them despite the gossip, but when Kitty sees him accidentally shoot an apostle bird, Neil fears she will never speak to him again.
Tensions come to a head when a digger is found dead, his gold missing, and angry miners form a mob to hunt the Americans down. Neil knows the nearby creeks and scrubland, and he can lead Ivan and Kitty to safety – if they let him.
The Apostle Bird is an evocatively written and compelling study of prejudice, honour and courage from Garry Disher, bestselling author of The Divine Wind and The Bamboo Flute.