Kaya is woken in the middle of the night and told by her mother that they are heading to their house in the Blue Mountains. Dennis, her father, a doctor who had been investigating his employer’s relationship with drug dealers, has been killed in a car accident, so Kaya and her mother Marnie go into hiding. But as the weeks go by Kaya realises that some things about her mother’s story simply don’t add up. Her sessions with Sue, a psychologist attempting to unearth Kaya’s repressed memories of the night her father disappeared, gradually reveal some details of her last evening with her father. When Bennett, a policeman and an old friend of her mother’s, becomes her mother’s suitor, Kaya is not comfortable with the situation, and is wary of his ‘strong man’ tactics. Together with her new friend, Korean/Australian Eric, a talented computer hacker, she tries to unravel the lies she has been told, and to solve the mystery.
Jannali Jones is a Krowathunkoolong woman of the Gunai nation. Jannali was the winner of the 2015 black&write! Indigenous Writing Fellowship and an inaugural recipient of Magabala’s Australian Indigenous Creator Scholarship. ‘My Father’s Shadow’ was included in the International Youth Library’s White Ravens list 2020. Jones’ debut novel acknowledges Kaya’s mixed racial background, as her mother is Aboriginal, but largely focuses on the mystery and intrigue being explored in this riveting plot.