15 December 2011

Review: BOLD BLOOD, Lindy Kelly

  • Harper Collins New Zealand, 2010
  • ISBN 978-1-86950-733-6
  • 288 pages
  • Source: I borrowed it
Publisher's blurb 

The phone call ended seven years of exile, but was a catalyst for murder . . .

When Dr Caitlin Summerfield took the message, her satisfying life included a rich, sexy boyfriend, an exciting career and, best of all, she was free of the emotional maelstrom that characterised her disastrous relationship with her mother.

Her father and brother are both long dead, and reluctantly Caitlin returns home when her mother is left in a coma after a riding accident. Someone has to look after her mother’s horses. But instead of the well-run training business she expects, she finds financial chaos and a dangerous mystery.

As the tension mounts, Caitlin begins to realise her mother’s accident was something far more sinister. Bold Blood, a fast-paced contemporary crime novel set within the world of horses and eventing, is a compelling and powerful debut novel for an exciting and talented writer.

Read an extract here

My take

BOLD BLOOD is an assured debut crime fiction novel by an established New Zealand children's writer.
Essentially it is a good read, with a well constructed plot, and authoritative and authentic feeling background. As I read I couldn't help comparing it to works of English writer and Australian writer . It is probably an unfair comparison but one that readers of equine crime fiction will inevitably make. And BOLD BLOOD is very passable. I thought too that Lindy Kelly brought a female voice to this aspect of the genre. The character of Kasey the strapper/stable hand is particularly well drawn.

The cast of characters is a striking one, but I'm not sure I really believed in the "big contract" that caused all the mayhem. I think also Kelly ended up killing too many characters off and Dom's reaction to the death of his own father is rather flat.

While there is plenty of room for a sequel, Caitlin and Dom having plenty of issues to resolve, I don't think that I can see this as the beginning of a series starring these main protagonists. Caitlin Summerfield I think would have considerable difficulty in maintaining any objective interest in a criminal investigation. Perhaps Kelly will just let her go back to being a doctor.

Nevertheless a good read. If you like crime fiction relating to horses then you'll like this one.

My rating: 4.3

BOLD BLOOD was one of the nominations for the Ngaio Marsh Award for New Zealand crime fiction in 2010

Read another review on Reactions to Reading

About the author

Lindy is an experienced journalist and the author of many short stories, poems and plays. She has been published in New Zealand, Australia and the USA and has won, or been commended in 29 awards. Her stories have been broadcast on National Radio and she is the author of 20 books for children and adults. Lindy teaches creative writing at the Nelson Women’s Centre, Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology and Nayland Adult Education classes. She lives on a farm in Nelson and loves children, (is the mother of six and grandmother of four) animals, the New Zealand bush, gardening, swimming and of course writing.

1 comment:

Kiwicraig said...

Good and fair review Kerrie. I think BOLD BLOOD is a very readable crime novel, but keen and prolific crime readers like ourselves might find it a touched flawed - okay/good, rather than great. Having said that, I imagine there will be plenty of everyday casual readers who would love it though, as it's a good solid book.


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