As a New Zealander I loved the local setting of this historical novel: the Manawatu in the 1870s. New Zealand born Canadian writer Wendy Wilson's extensive research (inspired by the lives of her own Danish-born ancestors who came to New Zealand) shines through. It's an intriguing mix of historical novel and if not quite a whodunnit, then a mystery that needs to be solved: what has happened to two young men? The novel has a cracking pace, two likeable major protagonists, and some moments of real (cliff-hanging) tension. The action - involving both settlers and Maori - is interspersed with well described domestic life, in all its muddiness. The excerpts from newspapers of the time that introduce each chapter add to the evocation of life in a country still going through the pains of colonization. A good read.