James Robb grew up in Wellington, New Zealand. During the 1980s and 1990s he worked in meatworks, car assembly plants, carpet and biscuit factories in Wellington, Hastings, and Auckland. Currently he is a high school teacher in Auckland.
An investigation into the political background to the 1965 anti-communist slaughter of a million Indonesian workers and peasants, comparing that event to the 1927 Shanghai massacre by Chiang Kai-Shek, when Chiang turned on his supporters in the Chinese Communist Party and killed thousands.
It is spring 1982, and change is in the air. Frank has got a job at one of the big Hawkes Bay meatworks. Mereana's uncle has got her hired on the mutton slaughter floor, and torn her away from her quiet life in the backblocks. The meat companies have plans to bring in machinery that will wipe out jobs, and the government is about to eliminate subsidies to farmers. A confrontation is looming.