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<DIV>Your writer, in conjuring this tale of murder, adultery, incest, ghosts, redemption and remorse, takes you first to a daffodil-filled garden in Highgate, North London, where, just outside the kitchen window, something startling shimmers on the very edges of perception. Fluttering and chattering, these are our kehua - a whole multiplying flock of Maori spirits (all will be explained) goaded into wakefulness by the conversation within. Scarlet - a long-legged, skinny young woman of the new world order - has announced to Beverley - her aged grandmother - that she intends to leave home and husband for the glamorous actor, Jackson Wright - he of the vampire films. Beverley may be well on her way to her ninth decade, but she's not beyond using this intelligence to stir up a little trouble. Quite how they became attached to a three-year-old white girl is the origin of your writer's tale. Suffice to say that murder is at the root of it all, that Beverley and her female bloodline carry a weighty spiritual burden and that this is the story of how they learn to live with their ghosts, or maybe how their ghosts learn to live with them.</div>