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Bibliophile | Quiet community shaken by disaster in 'Into the Night'

Into the Night
by Fleur Mc Donald
Allen & Unwin

Thirty-one year old Leo Perry manages the family farm east of Perth, although his father has a very tight hold on the purse strings. He is married to Jill and they have two young children. While Jill manages to get out and about in the small community, Leo finds himself tied to the farm and all its demands.

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Leo’s only outlet seems to be catching up with some mates that he’d been friends with since his school days, and that is usually to have a yarn over the phone. While Fleur Mc Donald has built a reputation for writing stories about the difficulties experienced by women in country areas, her latest rural novel also looks at the hardships experienced by men in remote rural areas.

Just as Jill is preparing to go to a tennis function in the town, the power goes out at the farm. No power meant to pump, which meant no water for the sheep and Leo had to head out the pump house to fuel and start the pump manually. So he heads off with his faithful tan kelpie Coffee while the rest of the family head into town 60 kms away.

When a disaster occurs, Detectives Dave Burrows and Bob Holden of the Rural Crime Squad head off to the burnt-out farm to find out what has happened to Leo. It is a huge mystery – with the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle all looking “the same size, colour and shape to Dave”.

The intriguing story is bookended by police officers falling sick and Dave, the hero from many of McDonald’s books, is going through his own family dramas with an acrimonious divorce and difficulty seeing his two children. He can’t understand why a “farmer, father and husband” would just disappear into the night and leave a family behind.

McDonald has spent her life living and working on farms, with the last twenty years on an 8000 acre farm east of Esperance. She takes the reader on a bumpy ride to discover the undercurrents of a quiet community and find out that sometimes nothing makes sense when someone is battling with mental health.

Lezly Herbert 


Do you need some support?

If you are struggling with anxiety or depression, support and counselling are available from:

QLife: 1800 184 527 / qlife.org.au (Webchat 3pm – midnight)
QLife are a counselling and referral service for LGBTQIA+ people.

DISCHARGEDinfo@discharged.org.au / discharged.org.au
Discharged is a trans-led support service with peer support groups for trans and gender diverse folks.

Lifeline: 13 11 14 / lifeline.org.au

Beyondblue: 1300 22 4636 / www.beyondblue.org.au


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