a land teeming with crocodiles, poisonous snakes, and curious Aboriginal myths. It's a strange place to choose to end one's life, but that is what Dinah Pelerin's wealthy American uncle has done. Dying of cancer, he has summoned his entire family -- current wife, ex-wife, assorted children and niece to a comfortless lodge where he intends to rewrite his will and commit suicide with the aid of a rogue Australian physician with whom he shares a mysterious history.
Dinah sees this time with her uncle as a last chance to learn the truth about her father, who died during the commission of a felony when she was a child. But when she arrives, she discovers that the truth has darker ramifications than she'd bargained for. Her artist brother thinks he's possessed by the spirit of a snake god who is moving his hand metaphysically across the canvas; her uncle is obsessed with a woman he married but could never possess; the rest of the family is seething with resentments; and a man none of them claims to know is murdered on a nearby island, impaled on the back of a sea turtle.
A wannabe anthropologist with a passion for mythology, Dinah tries to sort out the complicated song lines of her own ancestors while struggling to solve not one, but two, bizarre murders.