70 000 words
Karla Spicer finds her position as Senior Teacher at Tui Park Primary School in Wellington, New Zealand’s capital, is hindered by the Associate Principal Val Cook, who appears to resent her progressive ideas. Principal Murray Norwood, appears to be an easy-going man drifting towards retirement who avoids controversy whenever possible. Through a conscientious attitude and by supporting junior staff and parents, Karla becomes a popular staff member.
Karla becomes romantically involved with Ryan Purdon, the school’s property manager and when he tells her about problems back at Top Plateau, a tiny school near his family farm where he grew up. Karla agrees to take the acting principal’s position there and move in with Ryan.
Life in a remote area is different than expected with problems at the school and also on Ryan’s family farm where he has problems with his sister, step-father and mother who are all trying to sell the property divided between them by his late father’s estate.
Tensions arise in the district with a marijuana plantation discovered near the farm and a local bikie gang being suspected as the growers. However, nothing is as it first seems, potential enemies become friends and the trusted, untrustworthy.
Back in Tui Park, teacher Chrissy Ancell is attacked and turns to Karla for help. As Chrissy’s attacker is a respected person, their efforts to get justice seem to be thwarted.
It appears that the problems are intertwined with Karla being the kingpin and more than just a teacher striving to do the best for the children under her care.
This is a modern story with romance, crime and human personalities mixed together to create Ross’s latest exciting novel.
N.B. The tui (pronounced two-ee) is a native New Zealand bird found in the local bush that covers many of the steep hills around Wellington in the North Island of New Zealand.