West Australian-based author Fleur McDonald has two series featuring outback detective Dave Burrows on the go. One is set in the present and the other in the past – not long after Burrows became a cop. The present day series is interrelated so Burrows is usually investigating a case but there are other characters central to the plot of that particular novel. In the last outing in that series, Starting From Now, we met investigative journalist Zara Ellison, who returned to small-town Barker to be near her dying brother. The likeable Zara stayed and returns to play a lead role here as well.
I LOVE Fleur McDonald’s Dave Burrows series’. And yes, that apostrophe is meant to be there—I think—cos there are two of them. In case you’ve been living under a rock, McDonald is basically releasing books in two timeframes as if we’re in some weird Sliding Doors-like timewarp thingy.
In addition to an interrelated series set in the present, which features Burrows though he’s not always the headline act, McDonald takes us back in time a couple of decades (kicking off in the late 1990s) to Burrows’ early years as a cop.
I’m really enjoying this (interrelated) series by Fleur McDonald. It really doesn’t matter where you enter because each of the books works easily as a standalone. Detective Dave Burrows is the link between books, but each introduces new characters whose stories are central to the plot.
There’s usually a smidge of romance and a crime or two and they’re all set in rural or regional Australia. Given her own farming background, McDonald effortlessly conveys a real sense of the lives our characters lead and she always manages to reflect on topical issues. Here she touches on both new technology being introduced to farming communities as well as the inadvertent impact protestors can have on the animals / communities / subject matter they believe they’re protecting.
My mother saw this book sitting on the bedside table a few weeks ago, “Oh a new Fleur McDonald!” she exclaimed. Her knowledge surprised me, though I don’t know why as she reads all of the books I receive and has the same level of interest. (My brother and I had to get our love of reading from somewhere!)
“It’s a young Dave Burrows one,” I told her. And she knew what I meant… we were stepping back in time… albeit to 1999, which seems like yesterday. But… apparently isn’t.
I’ve been enjoying this series by Fleur McDonald – featuring Detective Dave Burrows (and a range of related characters). I also liked her last release, Fool’s Gold, which featured a young Dave – when he first started policing, giving us more insight into his history.
We’re back to the present now (well, mostly) and this is another great read – one which has a mystery to be solved in the background – but is more about family and relationships.
We take a step back in time – well a couple – in this latest novel by Australian author Fleur McDonald. We’ve met Detective Dave Burrows in her rural romantic suspense series (see my reviews of Suddenly One Summer and Sapphire Falls) and here we’re taken back to where it all began and he’s a newly appointed Detective and has moved with new wife, Melinda to rural WA, resplendent with dry heat, flies galore and brilliantly red soil.
Fleur McDonald has written nine books, very much centred around life in rural Australia and – as a farmer herself – it’s a world she knows well and one she captures brilliantly in her writing.
I’ve now read three of her romantic suspense novels, two featuring Detective Dave Burrows. It’s not at all necessary to have read others in the series as no backstory / additional context is needed.
Dare I admit that I think this is my first Fleur McDonald book? (And on that note can we have a round of applause for my recent spate of courage – in terms of reading outside my genre. Or at least thinking I’m about to.)
I’ve mentioned many times that I avoid romance novels… particularly rural romance the like and I suspect the cover of other books by McDonald might have led me to believe I was about to swagger bow-legged down that path. But perhaps I never read the blurbs, as her latest most certainly sounds like my reading bread and butter.