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Red Dust

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  330 ratings  ·  34 reviews
After the death of her husband, Adam, in an horrific plane crash, Gemma Sinclair defies community expectations -- and Adam's dying words -- by deciding to hang on to Billbinya, the 10,000-hectare station he bequeathed to her.

As if Gemma's grief and the job of looking after Billbinya aren't enough, a wave of innuendo soon sweeps the community that Adam's plane crash was no
Paperback, 330 pages
Published May 2009 by Arena (Allen and Unwin) (first published 2009)
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Community Reviews

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This was an enjoyable tale of farm life. I'm sure this author has had more experience with writing since writing this debut as she has been completing more novels. Editing was a bit loose, but nothing that ruined it, just noticeable.

This book made me aware of the tremendous hard work it takes to run a farm, the property maintenance, the upkeep of the sheep and cattle. It was evident that this author must be on top of her game as a farmer, and it was enjoyable to learn about what this lady would
Carol Preston
Gritty Aussie drama. A good mystery and love story in which you can almost feel the red grit on your hands as you read. A really good insight into life in the outback of Australia.
I couldn't finish this. The ultra-ocker dialogue drove me insane, and I was so disinterested in all of the characters that I gave up about half-way through.
After the tragic death of her husband Adam, Gemma is struggling to make a go of managing a property in South Australia. If this isn't enough of a challenge, rumours have begun sweeping the district, suggesting that Adam's death wasn't an accident and that he was involved in a network of stock thefts that have devastated other local farmers.

The first thing I really liked about Red Dust was the setting. Right away I got a sense of a rugged Outback station and the vastness of all that empty space.
Mary Hawkins
I am inclined to be careful about readings books that may contain too sexually explicit scenes and also filthy language. They simply spoil even a great story for me. I thoroughly enjoyed this book set in the Australian outback and will be certainly reading more books by Fleur McDonald
Kat at Book Thingo
If there’s one thing Red Dust does well, it’s capturing the beauty and roughness of outback Australia.

The premise is interesting, it’s set up well in the beginning, and the procedural aspects seemed plausible. I love to read about how crime is investigated in the outback, and it’s particularly interesting in Red Dust because Billbinya is so huge -- no CSI-esque toenails-in-the-bathroom-rugclues here! Despite this, McDonald struggles to sustain the mystery throughout the book. There are too many
Jessica Zimmer
Google is a Better Detective than the Entire Cast of Characters

I am trying to understand how this book is so highly rated. Having just finished Red Dust I want to adequately frame my feelings in a thoughtful, intelligent manner. Yet the only two emotions that come to mind are angry and disappointed.

As an American with a deep, deep love of Australian culture, I was incredibly excited to find the genre of rural fiction. I was hoping Red Dust would be a better version of McLeod's Daughters, with le
You can tell that this is a first novel. I really wish the editor had gone over it one more time, as there are bits that could have easily been fixed. for example, on page 15 Gemma wakes up after a night of worry about the local cattle stealing. She makes coffee and:
"Untying her dog Scoota, who ran madly around her legs in a morning greeting, she jumped in the ute and made her way towards the heifer paddock...."
Then, on page 16, Jess, Gemma best friend, who had been staying in the house with her
Sallyann Van leeuwen
Gemma is managing her farm after the death of her husband, Adam. It's hard enough to make ends meet, without having to worry about the local farms missing stock, and gossiping about her attempts to run the farm she inherited solo. So when stock without her brand is seen on her property, many, including the police, are interested, and Gemma realizes that maybe her late husband was involved with some shady characters and dealings.

I really enjoyed how this story had a back story, and the character
This outback saga combines crime and intrigue with romance and mateship as it tracks a young woman’s plight to succeed in what many consider a man’s world.

Red Dust is the story of Gemma Sinclair, a young Australian farmer who has just buried her husband after witnessing him die in a light aircraft crash that at first seemed like an accident.

His finals words to her, “Be careful, I’m in trouble and they might come after you…Sell the station…” terrify her and open up a host of questions, namely did
I have always said that I am not one for reading books with mystery, but I think I will have to change that claim after practically devouring Red Dust.

Red Dust starts out with Gemma Sinclair grieving for her dead husband and feeling confused about his last words – the ones that warned her that ‘they’ could be coming after her, too… But Gemma barely has time to grieve, let alone work out whatever her husband meant. That is, until stock stealing comes to light – and Gemma is a main suspect.

With th
Dianne Sidebottom
I haven't read Fleur's books in sequence and I guess that doesn't matter but I noticed reading Purple Roads a detective from this book. I like characters following into other books it just good to catch up with them as they are bigger than one story. The build up in the story was suspenseful in who was behind trying to breaking Gemma and all the people it involved to damage as well. Good outcome for Craig n Jess in the finish.
Fleur McDonald is a new Australian author and as Red Dust is her debut novel - it is one that I highly recommend. Following in the steps of Rachael Treasure and Fiona Palmer, Red Dust tells the tale of a woman trying to prove herself on the land. Devastated by the passing of her husband, Gemma Sinclair finds her husbands last words - “they might come after you when I’m gone. Sell the station…” - ultimately confusing. It seems that there has been missing stock locally and her husband is the prime ...more
Amanda Barrett
I read this book in anticipation of meeting Author Fleur McDonald at a recent author event. Red Dust is her debut novel and a great one at that. If you love a good mystery all set in the backdrop of an Aussie outback station go no further than this novel, you certainly won't be disappointed.
read this for my embassy bookclub. It was a good story just right for summer. I saw many of the surprises coming. there weren't very many characters so it was easy to figure out who the unnamed voices are.
The "selling line" on this book states that it is "An outback novel of love, intrigue and redemption" but to be honest I think that that does a great disservice to this book. Yes, there are moments of "romance" but the heart of this story is a ripping good yarn of the hunting down and capture of sheep and cattle rustlers, evocative portraits of life on the land (sheep and cattle), friendship and family, and rural life in country South Australia.

Fleur's knowledge of the land she writes about, and
Apr 03, 2014 Frank rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone (adult)
Recommended to Frank by: internet
Very well written. A Good Aussie drama and romance against an outback setting. Lots of suspense and intrigue.
I give this novel my highest recommendation.
The characters make this an enjoyable read. I can almost smell that shearing shed, and feel the lanolin smooth timber.
Susan Dawson
Loved this book! A real page turner with great mystery in the bush.
Quite boring and easy to predict.
Jan 22, 2014 Fiona added it
It was great!
Jan 26, 2011 Livvy added it
This book is lovely definitely a great book to read. Yes it is an adult book but is great for readers who have high reading ages like me and would like a different kind of story. It involves a mystery you could say and a girl who has to adapt to her life without her husband who died in a tragic plane accident.
Ruth Ross
Oh I really enjoyed this book, the author has a great way of making your feel like you're right there in the outback and on the farm, she is brilliant at describing the surrounding and the characters. A great novel with romance weaved into the mystery that isn't over complicated.
Dominique Bebbington
The main character could be a little annoying as she couldn't always see the obvious. However still a good read.
Kate Bolton
A mystery set in South Australia with friendships, a little love and family secrets! I really enjoyed this book after dodging it on my shelf for a while and am looking forward to reading her next book.
Loved this story...
Interesting story line that not only entertained but also informed the reader about life on a sheep and cattle property. Well worth reading.
Not a fan.

It's set in the most gorgeous country in the World so I'll give it an undeserving second star.
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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.

Fleur chats about her daily farming life
More about Fleur McDonald...
Blue Skies Purple Roads Silver Clouds Crimson Dawn Emerald Springs

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