In the town of Collamundra, Australia, the corpse of Japanese farm manager, Kenji Sagawa, is found in one of his cotton mill's threshing machines. The prosperity that his company had brought to the small town had also engendered racial tension, and Detective Inspector Scobie Malone of the Sydney Police Department is called in to investigate - hardly a vacation. The local corrupt government and law enforcement resent him, and the Aborigine population gets ever more restless.
When the only Aboriginal police officer becomes the target of everyone's frustration, Scobie becomes increasingly sympathetic - as well as increasingly involved with the cold murder case of the wife of Collamundra’s most famous citizen 17 years prior. As more and more people flock to this dry town for its annual horse race, the list of suspects becomes longer and longer. Can Malone the visitor crack the case?
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