Review: Maggie Raynor - Finders Keepers

Finders Keepers is the one of the first two titles for new equestrian publisher Forelock. I’ve reviewed the other one, One Good Turn, in another post. Like its fellow, Finders Keepers is a well-written story, full of decent characters and with plenty of accurate pony detail.

Kirsty is desperate for a pony, and has a pony fund. Her parents are not even remotely horsey, but her aunt, Tianne, is, and Kirsty goes to stay with her as often as she can. On a visit during the summer holidays, they go to Barrowby horse fair, where they find a neglected horse, tied up alone. He’s still there at the end of the fair, and so Tianne and Kirsty take him home. It’s a long, hard struggle, but they manage to restore the pony, Socks, to health. And then Kirsty wins a place on a reality tv programme. It’s a dressage makeover with top trainer Mark Kaspar.

Kirsty is thrilled, but she soon finds out that producing a television programme isn’t as straightforward as you might think, and she learns the hard way  how situations, and people, can be manipulated to hook viewers in. Kirsty also has an introduction into the upper echelons of sport, and how ambition can overrule kindness.

This is a decent story: it rattles along at a good pace, and the characters are interesting and at times amusing. The plot, despite its modern-day reality tv clothing, is thoroughly conventional, and if you’ve ever read any other book where someone happens to find a pony and rehabilitates it, the denouement will not surprise you.

Like its partner, it suffers from an irritating addiction to poor punctuation, but the publisher assures me this will be sorted out. Nevertheless, Finders Keepers is a good read, and it has beautiful illustrations – particularly the one of dogs. Maggie Raynor is excellent at dogs.

Whilst Forelock haven’t yet set the world of equestrian fiction alight with its first two publications, both are good, solid reads.

~ 0 ~

Maggie Raynor - Finders Keepers
Forelock Books, 2014, £9.99 (hardback)

Age of main character: 14
Themes: television, rehabilitation, difference between fiction and reality

Forelock's website

Thank you to Forelock Books for sending me a copy of this book.


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