Title: Something to Hide

Author: Fleur McDonald

Publisher: Allen & Unwin, 2021

Fleur McDonald is one of Australia’s favourite authors, having sold over 600,000 copies of her books. She has lived and worked much of her life on farms, and draws inspiration for her writings from these experiences. Her stories are set in regional areas around Australia and her characters reflect the people who own and work the farms.

Red Dust, her debut novel, made her the highest selling debut author of 2009. She has since written 16 novels and two children’s books. Her stories tell of strong women working on the land and of the events that unfold. She has also published the Detective Dave Burrows series of books.

Something to Hide is the fourth in the series of Detective Dave Burrows. In this novel Dave is stationed in Perth, with his wife Melinda and their two children. Dave has recently returned to Perth and his family following a dangerous undercover case he was involved with in outback Queensland. While out shopping Melinda is approached by a stranger who speaks to her about Dave. Later, Melinda relays the conversation to Dave, and he realizes his cover in his previous job has been blown. Knowing the men involved, Dave becomes worried for his family’s safety, and when offered a job in the goldfield town of Barrabine, he accepts it. His wife Melinda is not happy and friction soon develops within their relationship.

Fleur McDonald, her family and life on the farm

at mamamia, 2020

As Dave settles into his new job, he begins to realise he and his family are still at risk from the men involved in his previous job. Melinda becomes frightened and angry, and threatens to leave Dave and take the children with her to her parents’ home. Knowing his family are in danger, and against the wishes of Melinda, Dave makes the decision to hunt down the men who remain a threat to their safety. 

This is a riveting novel, well written and full of tension—within the marriage of Melinda and Dave, and in Dave’s attempt to apprehend the men who seek revenge. Even though this novel is the fourth in the series of Detective Dave Burrows, the story has enough background to enable the reader to understand how Dave and his family have come to this point in their lives.

I enjoyed this novel, became immersed in the lives of Dave and Melinda, and look forward to reading more in the Detective Dave Burrows series.  

Reviewed by: Linda Young

Ballarat Writers Inc. Book Review Group

Review copy provided by the publisher