It is 1824 and the Turrbal (Brisbane) tribe are accused by the Dalla tribe of murdering two of their men. But just as a fight is arranged to determine guilt, a stranger with mysterious tribal marks is seen in the area. Then, canoes go missing, fish traps are sabotaged and a terrifying shadow menaces the tribe. A dark secret from someone's past has returned with dreadful consequences.

To understand the meaning of vague foreshadowing dreams, Bunji travels to Jinibara country. The sacred swamp at Buruja leaks clues on the nature of the ghosts building huts at Kau-in Kau-in (Redcliffe) as well as an imminent threat to a Turrbal individual. But the swamp reveals a little too much on Bunji's past and on his dark future.

On the opposite side of the world, Rebecca Hendry grows up in a poor family in east London. A promising career as a seamstress beckons. But an encounter with a drunk woman takes her life onto a different path altogether. And she wonders whether the perplexing dreams from her childhood are actually omens of ill events in a distant land.