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Detective Dave Burrows returns in the most compelling and exciting case of his early career. 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, Bec. It's not how Dave wants it either, but complaints, leads and crimes all have to be investigated - it's what he joined the for Detective Dave Burrows returns in the most compelling and exciting case of his early career. 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, Bec. It's not how Dave wants it either, but complaints, leads and crimes all have to be investigated - it's what he joined the force for. Melinda's interfering father isn't helping. He's never thought that Dave was 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.


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Detective Dave Burrows returns in the most compelling and exciting case of his early career. 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, Bec. It's not how Dave wants it either, but complaints, leads and crimes all have to be investigated - it's what he joined the for Detective Dave Burrows returns in the most compelling and exciting case of his early career. 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, Bec. It's not how Dave wants it either, but complaints, leads and crimes all have to be investigated - it's what he joined the force for. Melinda's interfering father isn't helping. He's never thought that Dave was 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.

30 review for Without a Doubt

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    Without a Doubt by Aussie author Fleur Mc Donald is a well written suspense novel that leaves you desiring more. With likeable characters such as Dave and a plot line that draws you in right from the start all the things that make for a great and intriguing story. Having read a few books by this author I know her books will always be enjoyable and this one was right up there with them. Rural outback suspense with a little romance all make for a great read in my opinion. I thoroughly enjoyed this Without a Doubt by Aussie author Fleur Mc Donald is a well written suspense novel that leaves you desiring more. With likeable characters such as Dave and a plot line that draws you in right from the start all the things that make for a great and intriguing story. Having read a few books by this author I know her books will always be enjoyable and this one was right up there with them. Rural outback suspense with a little romance all make for a great read in my opinion. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I’m sure you will as well. Highly recommended.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    Detective Dave Burrows was settled into his life in Barrabine in Western Australia with his offsider Spencer having shown him the ropes. He loved the rural lifestyle, helping the locals and keeping law and order. The trouble was, his young wife was unhappy. Melinda hadn’t long had their daughter Bec, and although she was now eighteen months old, Melinda continued to be unsettled and restless about her life. Making it worse was the fact that her family lived in Perth and her father continued to p Detective Dave Burrows was settled into his life in Barrabine in Western Australia with his offsider Spencer having shown him the ropes. He loved the rural lifestyle, helping the locals and keeping law and order. The trouble was, his young wife was unhappy. Melinda hadn’t long had their daughter Bec, and although she was now eighteen months old, Melinda continued to be unsettled and restless about her life. Making it worse was the fact that her family lived in Perth and her father continued to put Dave down, insisting Melinda return to Perth with Bec to live with them. She was torn. The day Spencer devised a way for Dave to get into the harsh realities of police work – even though it meant a move to Queensland – Dave knew it was the answer; temporarily at least. What he didn’t know was the very real danger he would put himself in. Nundrew was a small rural town in the Queensland outback. The force there was having some trouble – Dave was their answer. But could he find the trouble makers? Or would it be the last – and most dangerous – case he ever worked on? Without a Doubt is another fabulous romantic suspense – high on the suspense – novel by Aussie author Fleur McDonald. I really enjoy Dave’s character; he’s a normal, down to earth guy, strong, tough and caring. He’s not shy in showing his love for his wife and little daughter, and prepared to do what it takes to fix his family problem. I hope the author doesn’t stop writing Detective Dave Burrows’ story any time soon! Highly recommended. With thanks to Allen & Unwin for my uncorrected proof ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Veronica ⭐️

    *https://theburgeoningbookshelf.blogsp... 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 re *https://theburgeoningbookshelf.blogsp... 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 at beauty and Lace Book Club http://bookgirl.beautyandlace.net/

  4. 5 out of 5

    Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews

    *https://mrsbbookreviews.wordpress.com Australia’s very own, ‘voice of the outback’ returns with a smashing new tale, featuring her popular and enduring character, Detective Dave Burrows. It is time to travel back into the past, as we receive a gritty insight into the detective’s burgeoning career. Without a Doubt is a full bodied rural fiction title, underscored by a heavy dose of crime, while at the same timing exposing the challenges of outback living. Without a Doubt shines a light on strains *https://mrsbbookreviews.wordpress.com Australia’s very own, ‘voice of the outback’ returns with a smashing new tale, featuring her popular and enduring character, Detective Dave Burrows. It is time to travel back into the past, as we receive a gritty insight into the detective’s burgeoning career. Without a Doubt is a full bodied rural fiction title, underscored by a heavy dose of crime, while at the same timing exposing the challenges of outback living. Without a Doubt shines a light on strains of family life when based in an outback location by local community members and enforcement. Detective Dave Burrows is stationed in the remote township of Barrabine, where every day new cases consume his life. Picking up the pieces at home is Dave’s wife Melinda, who is caring for their young daughter Bec. Dave is torn between his professional obligations and the needs of his family. Eventually, after a constant tussle between police work and family life, Dave chooses his career over his family (or so it seems). Faced with the biggest professional challenge of his life, Dave gives this new branch of his policing career his all. It is case fraught by danger at every corner and soon Dave begins to question his decision. With his family never far from his mind, Dave has to honour a commitment and see it through, but the question remains, will he be reunited with his family again? Without a Doubt, penned by Australian rural fiction aficionado Fleur McDonald is the thirteenth novel from this talented outback storyteller. It is a great standalone novel, but it does have loose ties to Fools Gold and a number of other books that feature this passionate detective. To be honest, I am really enjoying this back track into Dave of the past and I’m kicking myself for not having read Fools Gold yet! Anyhow, Without a Doubt provides readers old and new of Fleur McDonald’s work a chance to get to know this hardened rural crime sleuth a little more, while at the same time, the reader gets to delve into more than one outback crime case. I consumed Without a Doubt over a night, which is always a sign of a great novel. Rural crime is at the very front and centre of Without a Doubt. Bringing back Detective Dave Burrows and pitting him up against one of the most significant challenges and turning points in his life, was a wise move by Fleur McDonald. There are so many challenges of outback based crime, it takes a special kind of officer of the law to crack these complicated cases. Dave Burrows is not a stock standard detective. Each day and each case takes Dave above and beyond the call of duty, he puts his life on the line, with an impressive success rate. But, as we learn over the progression of Without a Doubt, this commitment to reducing the crime rate in the rural area he serves has come at a cost. Dave’s personal life is in tatters. I really did feel for the man, along with his wife, as well as his beloved daughter. It is tough work, but someone’s got to do it. Outback crime is clearly Fleur McDonald’s strength. Using her firsthand research and networking with plausible sources, McDonald has worked hard to produce a novel that offers a deep insight into typical crimes that are happening in our remote based locales. Cattle issues or poaching, the influence of the organised mobs of highwaymen who are robbing honest farmers of their livelihood is covered superbly by McDonald. Likewise, McDonald draws our attention to the pressures of balancing back breaking and relentless rural living with the challenges of family life. Engaging, complex, enlightening and authentic, McDonald’s exploration of the crimes that impact the very heart of our rural dwellers is compelling. It is these set of crimes that take Dave Burrows to where he has never been before, working undercover. This allotment of the novel offered plenty of entertainment value, as well as knowledgeable insight. Dave Burrows doesn’t disappoint and we see what he is made of! In terms of setting, Fleur McDonald impresses her readership yet again. The sense of place, despite split between separate outback locales, plus a mention of a familiar local spot (Bunbury, WA) infiltrates every page of this new novel from McDonald. The vast distances, the pure isolation, the desperation, disconnection, the strains and of course the elements that feed into all facets of life are exposed. Fleur McDonald has herself endured years of working in these tough conditions and this shines through her new novel. Without a Doubt proved to be a more than substantial rural crime based read. Fleur McDonald’s latest novel is action packed, steadfast, realistic and utterly consuming. With a side focus on matters of the heart faced by the families and partners of our dedicated rural crime based officers of the law, the latest chapter in the Dave Burrows series is one I recommend, without hesitation. *Thanks extended to Allen & Unwin for providing a free copy of this book for review purposes. Without a Doubt is book #64 of the 2019 Australian Women Writers Challenge

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    Without a Doubt is book to in the Detective Dave Burrows series by Fleur McDonald. Detective Dave Burrows was happy and contented with his live-in Barrabine. However, his wife Melinda wanted to go home and decided to leave him. Feeling lonely Detective Dave Burrows agreed to go undercover to find the answers to the growing cattle rustling in his community. The readers will continue to follow Detective Dave Burrows to find out will this dangerous mission be his last. I am so pleased that Fleur M Without a Doubt is book to in the Detective Dave Burrows series by Fleur McDonald. Detective Dave Burrows was happy and contented with his live-in Barrabine. However, his wife Melinda wanted to go home and decided to leave him. Feeling lonely Detective Dave Burrows agreed to go undercover to find the answers to the growing cattle rustling in his community. The readers will continue to follow Detective Dave Burrows to find out will this dangerous mission be his last. I am so pleased that Fleur McDonald allowed Detective Dave Burrows, one of my favourite characters to grow by developing a series for him. Without a Doubt, engaged me with the plot from the first page, and I was unable to put the book down. Without a Doubt, is well written and researched by Fleur McDonald, and I was surprised by the ending of this book. I like Fleur McDonald portrayal of her characters and the way they interact with each other. Fleur McDonald did an excellent job in describing her settings. The readers of Without a Doubt will learn about working undercover in rural communities and the dangers that can cause everyone who is involved. Also, the readers of Without a Doubt will understand the problems that women can have when they move to isolated rural communities and way from the family and friends. I recommend this book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    The complete review can be read at Beauty and Lace online. Without A Doubt is engaging and well paced, a read that kept some interesting little twists nice and quiet until the very end but I feel like it wrapped up a little too quickly. I'm left with some questions that I just don't know if I will ever have answers to. Fleur McDonald has a wealth of farming experience in rural Australia and she employs that knowledge to pen a tale of small communities, mustering and stock losses. This is a tale tha The complete review can be read at Beauty and Lace online. Without A Doubt is engaging and well paced, a read that kept some interesting little twists nice and quiet until the very end but I feel like it wrapped up a little too quickly. I'm left with some questions that I just don't know if I will ever have answers to. Fleur McDonald has a wealth of farming experience in rural Australia and she employs that knowledge to pen a tale of small communities, mustering and stock losses. This is a tale that travels far and wide, with storylines encompassing both ends of our wide brown land. Dave Burrows is stationed in the West Australian town of Barrabine and the story takes us from there to Nundrew, a very similar town in Queensland. The link begins quite tenuous and circumstantial but the deeper we delve, and the more danger Dave finds himself in, the stronger the links. McDonald explores undercover policing and cattle theft with insight and intrigue. Her writing is plausible and the undercover policing aspect was quite obviously well researched. The toll of police work on families is explored with the dangers of everyday policing, before going further into the stress and fear that goes along with undercover work. The complete disconnect with everything about your life to take on a role that is destined to be life changing, every single time. Once again McDonald explores the effects that a major move has on Melinda. She learned to live with the small town, the distance from her family and the commitment of Dave to his work when it was just the two of them but things have changed now that there's three of them. Part of Melinda's settling in was finding a job that she loved, now that she's home with Bec that outlet is not there for her. Raising a baby, any child actually, is hard work and you need support. It is certainly a time that you feel the distance from your family and it doesn't help when that family is forever rubbing that distance in, making sure you know that it could be easier if you were closer. That disconnect from family, from the community you live in with the break from work and the rigorous demands of a young child can definitely impact your happiness and it takes work to overcome that. I think McDonald has explored this aspect relatively well though we read from Dave's perspective so never quite make it all the way into Melinda's head. Without a Doubt is another fantastic read, another trip back in time to learn more about a young Detective Dave Burrows. This is a Detective Dave Burrows story so it is linked to other novels but I'm not sure it's really a linear type series that you have to read in order. The previous release is Where The River Runs which we featured as a book club read but I haven't quite got to yet, much to my dismay, and that features Det. Burrows but I'm not sure of it's time setting. Fool's Gold is the earlier release which is set in 1997 when the Burrows couple first arrive in Barrabine so if there is any book to read before this one, that's probably it. Having said that, I think Without A Doubt works beautifully as a stand alone. Another engaging read that shines a light on rural Australia and captivated me start to finish. Thank you for another brilliant book Fleur McDonald.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I loved this book. I couldn't put it down. I just had to keep reading until I found out what happened.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Deborah

    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. In the first book in 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. In the first book in the 'early Dave Burrows' series, Fool's Gold, Dave and his wife Melinda had just moved to Barrabine. Happily I didn't need to remind myself of any backstory and it wouldn't matter if you hadn't read the first book in this series. I had remembered his wife Melinda was struggling to settle in and missed her family but had seemingly turned a corner by the end of that book. Fast forward to this outing though and Melinda is at home with the couple's daughter Bec and again not coping with the isolation of life away from her family. Read my review here: https://www.debbish.com/books-literat...

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lynda

    I first discovered Fleur McDonald through Beauty & Lace Book Club last year and have since read many of her books. Without a Doubt lives up to it’s pedigree and keeps you entertained and captivated from the first page. Dave Burrows is a character from many other books of Fleur McDonald. He originally popped up as a minor character and has slowly become the main character and drawcard. I really enjoyed reading this book and getting more background on the character and where he started from. This I first discovered Fleur McDonald through Beauty & Lace Book Club last year and have since read many of her books. Without a Doubt lives up to it’s pedigree and keeps you entertained and captivated from the first page. Dave Burrows is a character from many other books of Fleur McDonald. He originally popped up as a minor character and has slowly become the main character and drawcard. I really enjoyed reading this book and getting more background on the character and where he started from. This book can be read as a stand alone but fair warning - after reading it you’ll be hooked and want to read more of this author’s work! Thanks Allen & Unwin and Beauty & Lace Book Club for another great read by a superb author.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Renee Hermansen

    Thanks to Allen & Unwin and Beauty and Lace for this book, ‘Without a doubt” by Fleur McDonald. Following the story of Dave Burrows in his work and home life. His struggles and achievements are told in a way that keep you enthralled and I could not put the book down. The story of a policeman’s life and the effect it has on his family. The sacrifices one must make on a daily basis and then to go undercover and leave everyone and everything behind is an ordeal on everyone involved as well as being e Thanks to Allen & Unwin and Beauty and Lace for this book, ‘Without a doubt” by Fleur McDonald. Following the story of Dave Burrows in his work and home life. His struggles and achievements are told in a way that keep you enthralled and I could not put the book down. The story of a policeman’s life and the effect it has on his family. The sacrifices one must make on a daily basis and then to go undercover and leave everyone and everything behind is an ordeal on everyone involved as well as being extremely dangerous. Also this book shows an insight into the farming and mustering side of the country towns which was informative and interesting. I haven’t read any other books in the Dave Burrows storyline but it was a good stand alone book anyway and makes me want to read more as it was very well written.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Trish

    I enjoyed reading about the early days of Dave Burrows. I haven't read all of Fleur's books, and I'm not yet 'following' Dave Burrows, so thought this was a good one to bed down in anticipation! I have to say that I'm not in love with Australian outback stories. Many authors spend too much time (for me) on describing the countryside. Fleur hasn't done this too badly. And there were enough characters and character driven action that I could handle the countryside. The resolution perhaps came a bi I enjoyed reading about the early days of Dave Burrows. I haven't read all of Fleur's books, and I'm not yet 'following' Dave Burrows, so thought this was a good one to bed down in anticipation! I have to say that I'm not in love with Australian outback stories. Many authors spend too much time (for me) on describing the countryside. Fleur hasn't done this too badly. And there were enough characters and character driven action that I could handle the countryside. The resolution perhaps came a bit quick and was a little predictable. But on the whole, it was an enjoyable read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dianne Sidebottom

    Continuing series of Dave Burrows detective goes undercover. Family life with Melinda had problems. We meet another police officer Justin who was a interesting character. I'm trying to work out how the title fits in and wonder is that the end result. The book had my thinking wired up and kept me awake, I didn't know I had few pages to read. Enjoyed the story not the marital issues. But ready to read another Dave story when it comes.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rosalie

    I liked the first half of the book as it was fast paced and the tension between Dave, his wife and his in-laws added to the criminal drama. The cattle station setting seemed authentic and but the characters could have been fleshed out a bit more. It is a good enough time filler while on holiday. Nevertheless I dropped my rating as I felt that the story wrapped up too briefly and the opening for the sequel is therefore too obvious.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn Maloney

    This is “Without a Doubt” one of the best books I have read. I love the storyline following Dave Burrows on his life journey. From the ups and downs working in the Police force to the ups and downs in his marriage this book has kept me riveted and wanting to know more about Daves future. I can’t wait for the next book in this series!

  15. 4 out of 5

    D.J. Blackmore

    When you can talk the talk because you've walked the walk, it's enjoyable as a reader, more especially as a fellow Aussie. And if Fleur McDonald was as good a jillaroo as she is at writing rural crime, then she's also an accomplished girl on the land. This is a book with enough backbone that I've still got the meat caught between my teeth. A satisfying feed of country Australia.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Cookie1

    A brilliant story with Detective Dave Burrows as the main character. Dave and Melinda are having problems. She goes back to Bunbury to be with her parents. Is their marriage over? Dave is devastated by this and takes a temporary job in Queensland. It is extremely dangerous, will he survive? An excellent book that makes it so easy to identify with the characters and their surroundings.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    I felt this story gave me the backstory to Detective Burrows that I never really read in the other McDonald novels. This novel contains crime, murder, drama, death and desire. The desire of the detective's wife for her old life in the city in order to escape the demands of her husband's workload. Good although not as great as others.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Vicki Robe

    It's always a pleasure to read Fleur Mc Donald's books and this is a ripper placing Detective Dave Burrows in the thick of things in an undercover sting to try and stop a ring of dangerous cattle thieves and murderers in their tracks. Along with his private life falling apart Dave Burrows has nothing to lose, or does he? Can't wait to get started on the next installment!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Dragonladymoi

    Without a doubt, this book was an awesome read! It had all the elements of a really good plot: injustice, romance gone wrong, murder, action and a really good resolution. I can’t wait to read the next Dave Burrows story by Fleur McDonald. I gave this book five stars.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    A great early Dave Burrows story.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Melanie Bowers

    Am halfway through and it is another can't put it down..... I love the mystery and the real life small town life. Another winner from a great aussie author

  22. 4 out of 5

    waz1234W

    Good book This book was hard to put down I really enjoyed reading it looking forward to the next one thank you

  23. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Pearson

    Another great read by Fleur. I loved going back to the start of Dave’s career.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Janine

    I struggled a bit at the start but once I got into it I really enjoyed it. I haven’t read any other Dave Burrows stories but that didn’t seem to matter. Thanks to Beauty and Lace Book Club and Allen & Unwin for my copy to review. I struggled a bit at the start but once I got into it I really enjoyed it. I haven’t read any other Dave Burrows stories but that didn’t seem to matter. Thanks to Beauty and Lace Book Club and Allen & Unwin for my copy to review.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Susan Dawson

    Great read! Loved seeing the new life of recurrent characters - Dave B. Really enjoyed the last half especially. Thanks FM

  26. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    I loved this book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    Very captivating. I love Fleur McDonald's rural romances!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    I wish we could award half stars. Most of the way through this book I was going to award it 2 stars. Then about two thirds of the way in it got better. So I've awarded it 3.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Christie Paterson

    I cannot rave about Fleur's books enough. They never disappoint. She just can't write fast enough!!!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lyn

    Great read.

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