This first novel, narrated by the alcoholic, semideranged Connie Lambrechht, brings to mind the parabolic prose of Alice Munro and the scarifying vision of J. M. Coetzee. It is set amid the ostrich farms that flourished, more than half a cen-tury ago, in colonial South Africa. Landsman's hold on the crux of her story (the fate of the missing, both dead and alive) is so steady and strong that her fey, haunted characters seem to act entirely out of their own compulsions.