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Helen Iles Reviews


The Horse Keepers - Marilyn Rainier - WA

I’m already a fan of yours, as you know, but ‘The Horse Keepers’ is now my favourite. The plot twist at the end was sooo good. As a ‘Dirty Campbell’ myself (my grandmother’s name was Vary Campbell) I certainly empathised with poor Brody. 

You have really picked up, too, on the hatred between the clans. It’s difficult for most people to understand that those feuds still rage but of course they do. I was working in an office in England once and the discussion at lunch-time turned to ancestry. When I joked about being a Dirty Campbell, a Scottish woman at the table turned on me in an absolute rage and said she would never speak to me again as I was a member of this heinous clan – and she didn’t!  

The narrative throughout never falters. I love a novel that highlights contemporary issues and you have explored the self-destructive relationship between the husband and the protagonist in a way that would be very helpful to any victim of domestic abuse. 

Thanks again for an excellent novel.  I shall be very interested to hear what you are working on now.

Fire in the Heartland  -  Tina Haralambakis - Book Editors Club, The Society of Women Writers WA

From the moment I started reading, I couldn't put it down. In fact, from start to finish I was totally engrossed with the pace, suspense, and action of the narrative. Yet equally absorbing was the subtle, yet poignant story of the Darcy family that slowly unraveled to reveal the reasons behind Clarrie's courage and determination to save Bawldy, the brumbies, and herd of Herefords.

Helen's realistic portrayal of an Australian bushifre, construction of characters, plot and subplots, combined with the author's moving account of the burdened animals are overwhelmingly felt by the reader. Oddly enough, the reader becomes part of the scenario, swept into the narrative with all its tensions and conflicts, not to mention the plausible account of an out-of-control bushfire, and its ravaging effects on the physical and social environment ...

A fabulous read I recommend both to young adults and adults.

Fire in the Heartland - Carol Herbert  WA

Wow! I rode every stride down the mountain on that big grey horse, and ache from the rigorous ride. You put me there in the scene racing ahead of the fire, feeling the heat, and I couldn't stop in case I lost the herd. A fabulous read for all ages.


Bitter Comes the Storm - Pat Fletcher WA

I've just finished reading your book. It's a ripping good yarn and brilliantly told. The pace is so fast I felt I should be panting, and didn't want to put it down. Well done!

Dark Secrets  -  Marlene Fulcher

Dark Secrets by Helen Iles has you hooked from the first paragraph to the last as characters come to life and the settings become places you can see as clearly as if watching a movie, but you can’t remain a spectator, you are there, walking the streets, driving along the county roads, sipping coffee in the diner. It isn’t long before you become aware there are secrets. You have not arrived at the beginning. There is far more to many of these characters, some have known each other for years, since childhood, some are damaged but all well rounded and hold your interest.

The interaction between the main characters leaves you wanting to know what went before, what are those Dark Secrets.  The writing, plotting, excellent, the story-line faultless, adding even more to the plot as does the pace, changing with the mood of each character and building to a break neck speed as events come to a head, have you holding your breath, unable to put this book down.    

This is a thriller in every sense of the word and you know from now on, Helen Iles is a name you will look for when buying your next book in this genre.


Lyn Bodycoat, Perth, WA

With the development of the main characters’ personalities, the author Helen Iles, has created suspense throughout the novel until the final moments of Dark Secrets. All characters, both major and minor, are developed ensuring the reader is aligned closely to each person in the story as the plot unfolds. Set in rural America, it is a tale about truth and justice and how each is manipulated by characters who hold power and misuse it to obtain what they want. With the various twists and turns, it resembles an Agatha Christie crime thriller where the reader tries to guess the outcome but is regularly delightfully surprised. 





24th April 2024