Friday, 10 May 2019

Book Club Book Review: Without a Doubt by Fleur McDonald

Without a Doubt
Fleur McDonald

Publisher: Allen & Unwin 
Publication date: 1st April 2019
Pages: 337
RRP: $29.99
Format Read: Paperback
Source: Courtesy of the publisher via Beauty & Lace book club

Detective Dave Burrows had never even heard of Nundrew in Queensland before. He'd certainly never have guessed that this was where he'd be risking his life.

In Barrabine, as Dave's workload skyrockets, Melinda, Dave's wife, is unhappy about being left alone so much to raise their eighteen-month-old daughter. It's not how Dave wants it either, but crimes still have to be investigated - it's what he joined the force for - and he's the only one able to do it.

Melinda's interfering father isn't helping. He's never thought that Dave is right for his daughter and he's not shy about telling Dave what he's doing wrong. When things come to a head at home, Dave's policing mate, Spencer, comes up with a plan.

In the most dangerous mission of his life, Dave knows what he's risking. If he's found out, he'll never see Melinda or Bec again. Of that he's sure.

McDonald writes a riveting rural crime story that had me grabbing for the book every spare minute I had.

Even though this is my first Det Dave Burrows novel the characterization was ample for Dave to come across as sincere and likeable. You find yourself barracking for him.

The story is spread wide across the Australian outback with settings in both the remote goldfields town of Barrabine WA and Nundrew in Central Queensland.
McDonald has clearly done her research and knows the way of these harsh isolated towns and the people living there.

With a main story of cattle stealing Dave goes undercover in the most dangerous op of his life. Believable side stories portray the strain the isolation can have on a marriage and a person’s mental health and the need for adequate counselling services and activities for the youth of the area. This is where the police come in; not only fighting crime in the area but preventing future crime by being involved in youth programs.

This is hard, rough country and cattle mustering is tough work, it involves tough men, so there is bad language and not everyone plays nice.

I loved McDonald’s use of Aussie slang making me feel like she had pulled her characters straight out of an outback pub instead of from her imagination. I loved them all....well maybe not Scottie.

The heat was palpable and well portrayed. The flies, the dust, the smell! I felt them all.

Without a Doubt was my first Dave Burrows and won’t be my last. This is a great stand-alone however you will want to go back and read Fool’s Gold the first Dave Burrows exclusive. He does feature in Fleur’s other books.

This review first appeared on the Beauty & Lace book club.

My Rating   4/5

*this review is part of the Book Lover Book Review Aussie author challenge
and book #15 in the Australian Women Writers challenge

Photo credit: Goodreads

After growing up on a farm near Orroroo in South Australia, Fleur McDonald’s first job was jillarooing in the outback. She’s now closely involved in the daily management of the 8000-acre station she and her family live on near Esperance in Western Australia.

Fleur is the author of the bestselling novels Red Dust, Blue Skies, Purple Roads and Silver Clouds. 



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