Maralinga by Judy Nunn
Steady pace, engaging characters.
This novel had a special resonance with him, because my father-in-law was at Maralinga and died from the particular type of Leukaemia contracted as a result of these nuclear tests. I don't think any Australia could read this and not weep for the utter lack of humility and human decency displayed by the powers of the time.
It was a fascinating story with lots of colourful characters and beautiful landscapes. I especially loved the strong-willed heroine. Judy revealed information in a way that kept me eager to read on, and there was a nice resolution to the romance.