‘I live in a small town with frequent murders. Every now and again a voice comes on the phone.


A short time later, I’m on my hands and knees. I’m alone. I insist upon it: a clear space in which to work. I look up at the sky as if waiting for a sign. A bird, a cloud, the slightest hint of a breeze. Then I fall to it.’

A series of murders break the dusty silence of a small rural town. Butades, the town’s resident artist, is given the job of documenting the crime scenes. Without motive or suspect, and with the death count mounting, the Police Chief becomes unhinged, and events lead to a Kafkaesque impasse where no one remains free of suspicion. 

T.P. Sweeney grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland in the 1960s and ’70s. He emigrated to Auckland, New Zealand in 1997 where he has lived for the past 19 years.

‘A remarkable book, stylistically assured, layered, vivid’

— Ian Wedde

‘A crime story that reads like a collaboration between James Ellroy, Borges and David Lynch: hot, dusty, slippery and smart. A meditation on the meaning of art and stories, life and death, isolation and connection. Like Butades herself, this book has secrets’ —

— Dylan Horrocks

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