Australian author Sonya Hartnett’s dark YA novella Sleeping Dogs (Penguin Random House 1995) is a compact, precise and unsettling depiction of a family bound by secrets and violence, and their disturbing encounter with a stranger. The Willow family scrabbles to exist on their ailing farm, their house deteriorating, the five children wary and careful, the mother almost catatonic and the father ruling the roost with an iron fist. Tourists in caravans stay for the summer season, but when artist Bow Fox arrives, stumbles upon a family secret and threatens to expose it, the children plan an act of revenge that is shocking and desperate. This slim book is a finely-drawn portrait of family members under stress, frayed by betrayals and lies, yet struggling to remain loyal to each other and to the only familiarity they know. Hartnett writes superbly of animals and nature, and each of the children – Edward, Oliver, Jordan, Michelle and Speck – are resounding and memorable.