An outback novel of love, intrigue and redemption
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Publication date: 1st January 2009
Genre: Rural Fiction
Format read: Paperback
Source: own purchase
My review of Red Dust
I'm a huge fan of Fleur McDonald however I came into her books over halfway through her writing career. So I thought it was way beyond time I started on Fleur's back list.
Red Dust is her debut novel and although not as polished as her later novels it was still a great read. I found some of the conversations a bit stilted and the point of view was all over the place however I was drawn straight into the story from the opening chapter with a dying man's ominous last words.
McDonald has written a riveting rural crime novel centred around cattle stealing but also featuring the difficulties faced by woman farmers and the isolation of farm life.
After her husband's tragic death Gemma is left with a farm to run and a mountain of rising debts. As she goes through the farm accounts and the town gossip heats up, Gemma starts to wonder if she really knew her husband at all.
I always laugh and comment that Fleur isn't adverse to killing off a much loved character and after reading Red Dust I can say even from her debut novel Fleur liked to kill off characters that I've warmed to. 😂
I loved that this was Dave Burrows first appearance. He is just a side character here so there is nothing of his personal life. He is just there to investigate the cattle stealing and be awesome.
A small romance thread runs through the story and after all the drama and suspense it's nice to end on a HEA.
My rating 4 / 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
About the author
Fleur McDonald has lived and worked on farms for much of her life. After growing up in the small town of Orroroo in South Australia, she went jillarooing, eventually co-owning an 8000 acre property in regional Western Australia.
Fleur likes to write about strong women overcoming adversity, drawing inspiration from her own experiences in rural Australia. She has two children, an energetic kelpie and a Jack Russell terrier.
Links to my reviews of Fleur's books (not in order).
*I read this book as part of the Mount TBR Challenge (on my shelf 19/4/2017)