By Lindy Kelly (Harper Collins, 288 pages, $36.99)REVIEWED BY TEDI BUSCH
The galloping horse and rider splash out over the cross-country jump, the hooves spraying not water, but blood. With this graphic cover, Nelson author Lindy Kelly sets the scene for her novel.
There is big money in the eventing world, where talented horses are worth a great deal. Subterfuge can generate huge profit. Combine such a thrilling sport with intrigue, dysfunctional families, romance and murder, and you have a great setting for a good read.
Lindy Kelly, a horsewoman in her own right, doesn't let you down. Like the sport it portrays, the novel is fast-paced and full of surprises; horse trials are hazardous enough without baddies making them even more treacherous.
The individual characters are well-developed and believable. The heroine (and what a heroine!) is both cool-headed and volatile. Light relief is provided by limericks and a teen groom with attitude, plus quiet times with the horses (who also have well-developed personalities.) A bonus is the setting right here in Nelson, with views of Tasman Bay and galloping on the Rabbit Island beach.
For me, a sign of a good novel is when I get so engrossed that I forget it is fiction, and I really worry about the personalities (including the equine ones here) even when I'm not reading. Bold Blood did it for me. Lindy Kelly has done herself, her sport, and her district proud.
- Tedi Busch is a retired veterinarian from Brightwater, and a keen follower of eventing.
- © Fairfax NZ News