'Nine Aboriginal children under the age of five have died in four years in Plantagenet, a small Aboriginal community on the site of a former large gold-mining town outside Kalgoorlie. Statistically, this is an horrendous infant mortality rate that doesn’t seem to bother anyone except the Catholic missionaries who support the community and community members themselves.
'Is the lack of concern just because the deaths are those of Aboriginal children or is something more sinister happening?
'Robbie Fairfax, a former road-train driver who has recently trained as a teacher, walks into the eye of a political storm on his first posting in 1974. He becomes involved in seeking reasons for these deaths, working with the missionaries, community members and an attractive young high school science teacher. His efforts put him at odds with heads of government agencies, regional Catholics, the local media and his educational superiors, all of whom seek to protect their reputations as they try to destroy his.
'His ordeal is made more complex by past personal issues, but at least he has support from the Catholic missionaries, including a very pretty nun, his ever-supportive mother and a female psychologist who returns to his life.' (Publication summary)