Against the Odds - where Sian and Madoc first met.

Scratch

novel, Cover image of Fell pony, mountains and cloudy sky, SCRATCH ***** Fell ponies, family life and murder. Great combination!

I have to admit that I have not read Sue Millard's first book, but didn't need to really. This is a no frills equine thriller set up north with perfect descriptions of stables and the Fell scenery. A family with it's usual ups and downs, but with plenty of emphasis on the horses. Loved it! Amazon Kindle edition R. Ford 28 April 2019

***** Excellent

Having read Against The Odds many years ago now i was very pleased to find this sequel. I like the fact that time has naturally elapsed between the two allowing it to be set in the present without the awkwardness of addressing (or ignoring) natural changes that occur between the decades set in. Well written with a good immersive plot that keeps you page turning. This one is written for a slightly older market than the original's young adult market, i'd say, but do not let that put you off reading the original as it's an excellent all ages read. Amazon Kindle edition, abc, 16 March 2019

***** Well worth the wait

Just as good as the first book. Amazon Kindle edition, Miss A. Maidment, 22 November 2018

***** Cracking good read

From the first paragraph this book had me gripped. Sue has a wonderful gift of bringing the landscape to life and has a true understanding of the struggle to make ends meet. It's not a true murder mystery or a very "horsey" book - everything just combines beautifully in to a cracking good read. Heartily recommended! Amazon Books Choral fan, 6 November 2018

***** Scratch... Wow, I loved it!

Please don’t make me wait years for part three!!! It’s been a long while since I read a book that I didn’t want it to end. I was going to save it for when I go on holiday but got sucked in and couldn’t put it down! My blood shot eyes are your fault! E-book beta reader, Sept 2018

***** And it’s also the best cover I’ve seen for some time!

Scratch is a sequel to Against the Odds published [in ebook form] in 2013, so volume two has been quite a long time coming. Scratch might be a sequel, but you don’t need to have read Against the odds to enjoy Scratch. But I think it might help with understanding the back story if you have, so why not buy them both? At 365 pages, you can, for a full year, enjoy a page a day! It is not exactly crime fiction, although it does contain crime and intrigue. It tells the story of a family of five living on a hill farm in the fells of Cumbria, and unpicks the difficulties they, like all farmers, have with cash flow. The narrative explores the every day knock about of family life, and the importance of family. Madoc, the husband, pre-trains racehorses, his wife breeds and trains fell ponies. All the children to a greater or lesser extent work trying to make a success of their farm, but to quote from the book, they are ‘land rich, and cash poor’. Not only do they have horses and ponies, but also breeding sheep.

For those who sometimes hesitate about horsey books, don’t worry, this isn’t one, although there are of course horses represented, but they are more like characters than just lumps of meat. Every now and then I had to remind myself this is a work of fiction, but it sounds very authentic to me, more especially so, because I live near the area in which the book is set. I think it is always a good sign when you read a book, if you are sorry when it has ended, it happened with this one. I wanted to telephone one of the characters to see how they are getting on now. An excellent read providing much drama, comfort and feeling. Amazon books Martin C, Sept 2018


Reviews of the first book: Against the Odds