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.