Ranching in Queensland in the 1800’s was a harsh difficult life, facing drought and isolation. Ranchers didn’t spare too much thought on the Indigenous people they displaced, instead using them for cheap labor and calling on the Queensland Native Police to deal with any that didn’t go along easily with their disenfranchisement. It is in this era the teenaged MacBride bothers, Billy 16 and Tommy 14, find their parents slaughtered. Suspicion falls on an Aboriginal worker on the ranch who left after a dispute. Led by a prominent local rancher, John Sullivan, and Inspector Edmund Noone of the Queensland Native Police, the teenagers ride out to find the murderers and participate in the massacre of a large number of Aborigines. This one act will define their futures in many ways. The characters are well drawn, the portrayal of Australia vivid. This story is not only an important exploration of the cruelty and lack of justice inflicted on Indigenous people; it is also the story of two teenagers growing to manhood under the shadow of that one horrific act. Tommy and Billy are great characters! Dust Off The Bones blew me away.