Adelaide Hills, Christmas Eve, 1959: At the end of a scorching hot day, beside a creek in the grounds of the grand and mysterious mansion, a local delivery man makes a terrible discovery. A police investigation is called and the small town of Tumbeela becomes embroiled in one of the most shocking and perplexing murder cases in the history of South Australia. Sixty years later, Jess is a journalist in search of a story. Having lived and worked in London for almost twenty years, she now finds herself laid off from her full-time job and struggling to make ends meet. A phone call out of nowhere summons her back to Sydney, where her beloved grandmother, Stella, who raised Jess when her mother could not, has suffered a fall and been raced to the hospital. Stella has always been a vibrant and strong presence: decisive, encouraging, young beyond her years. When Jess visits her in the hospital she is alarmed to find her grandmother frail and confused; its even more alarming to hear from Stellas housekeeper that Stella had been distracted in the weeks before her accident, and that she fell on the steps to the attic the one place Jess was forbidden from playing when she was small. At loose ends in Stellas house, Jess does some digging of her own. In Stellas bedroom, she discovers a true crime book, chronicling the police investigation into a long-buried tragedy: the Turner Family Tragedy of Christmas Eve, 1959. It is only when Jess skims through the book that she finds a shocking connection between her own family and this once-infamous crimea crime that has never been resolved satisfactorily. And for a journalist without a story, a cold case might be the best distraction she can find.
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