Firmly set in and inspired by the Australian landscape, Unaccountable Hours offers three stories about the passions and beliefs that consume the time we call our own — our unaccountable hours — whether in music, family, nature, love or friendship. In ‘The Luthier’, musician Alton Freeman devotes his life to crafting a violin that will reproduce the perfect sound of Bach’s Partitas and Sonatas, as played by his idol, musician Monica Erica Grenbaum. ‘Ethical Man’ follows the biologist and birdwatcher Bartholomew Milner, who lives stringently according to his ‘Milner’s Ethic’, and is put to the ultimate ethical test whilst on a research expedition in the Australian outback. ‘Like Water’ tells the story of an unlikely friendship and subsequent romance that develops between kindred spirits Matthew and Beatrice — two soulmates born generations apart. Throughout these ‘bite-sized novels’, Scourfield’s masterful language evokes landscapes both within and without: Cottesloe and the Swan River, Perth; Cremona, Italy; and the Little Sandy Desert, Western Australia.