A captivating novel of a son’s search for his fugitive father on the Australian colonial frontier.
The harshness of colonial rule in Australia during the 1870s equalled that practised in mother England. Floggings, jailings in squalid conditions and death by hanging were prescriptive measures for those who dared to assert themselves.
When Tom Simpson, a farrier for the mounted police, murders a trooper he knows that the gallows await his capture. He flees, boarding a sailing ship that slips from Sydney harbour under the cover of darkness. Two years later his son Barney, a daring twenty year old, is told of his father’s whereabouts.
Barney sails north to the gold rush port of Cooktown where thousands of men and a sprinkling of women scramble for a share of gold. From here he begins his search, inspecting shod horses for his father’s trade mark shoeing.
The dark secrets of the frontier town are revealed as Barney delves deeper. His investigations take him to places way beyond his imagination, challenging his courage and at times his sanity.
He is unaware that his love affair with a society lady holds the key to his father’s freedom.
This story of mystery and intrigue, woven into the fabric of frontier life relives the gold rush era of early Australia.
About the Author:
Robert Prince is something of a hybrid, a man equally happy mustering wild cattle on horseback in the Australian bush or sitting quietly researching history. His writings reflect this love for outdoor adventure and academic research, combining the two to present racy stories based on historical themes.
A snapshot of his life includes being raised as the son of a sugar-mill manager in the tropical paradise of Mossman, North Queensland, Australia; graduating from the University of New England with a B Econ; marrying a country girl; raising four beautiful children; and being a successful businessman.
As principal of his own accounting practice he enjoyed the freedom to choose and diversify, with side interests being sugarcane farming and cattle grazing. He has been referred to as the Phantom Accountant, to describe his absence from the office while attending to his spread of interests.
Since retiring from business, writing has become a passion, with the publication of his novels The Farrier’s Son and Shadows of the Mountain.
After experiencing the rigors of life he has come to the conclusion that creative writing is the ultimate escape.