When men in police uniforms came to execute me on the roadside, beside dark fields, it was a definite sign that my new life was over.' A regular at the local pub, a mainstay of the footy team, Mac Faraday is a man with a past living the quiet life of a country blacksmith. But when his best friend Ned Lowey is found hanged, Mac - who has learned the hard way never to accept things at face value - isn't convinced he committed suicide and starts asking questions. Why did Ned keep press cuttings about the skeleton of a girl found in an old mine shaft? What was he doing at Kinross Hall, the local detention centre for juvenile girls? Who was the beaten girl found naked beside a lonely road? As Mac's search for answers pushes deeper into the past, it resurrects the terrifying spectre of what he calls his 'old life', forcing him to turn to long-discarded skills not only to discover why his best friend died, but also to save his own life.