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Dark Horse

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  400 ratings  ·  79 reviews
It's Christmas morning on the edge of the rugged Mortimer Ranges. Sarah Barnard saddles Tansy, her black mare. She is heading for the bush, escaping the reality of her broken marriage and her bankrupted trail-riding business.

Sarah seeks solace in the ranges. When a flash flood traps her on Devil Mountain, she heads to higher ground, taking shelter in Hangman's Hut.

She sett
Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 24th 2013 by Penguin Books Australia
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Average rating 3.72  · 
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 ·  400 ratings  ·  79 reviews

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Jun 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Informing her parents that she wouldn't be attending their Christmas Day lunch Sarah Barnard gathers a few things together then saddles up Tansy her black mare. Wanting to get away from all her troubles she decides to head for the high country to Mortimer Rangers to a cabin called Hangman's Hut situated on top of Devil Mountain.

With the weather changing rather quickly and only a little way into her ride Sarah and Tansy find themselves in a middle of a storm. Sensing the fear in Tansy Sarah knows
Jun 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recently divorced and forced to sell her property Sarah and her beautiful endurance horse Tansy set out to spend Christmas Day alone on the mountain they love behind her property. Failing to check the weather they are caught in a storm and a flash flood forces them to seek shelter in an old hut. A young bushwalker, Heath has also found his way to the hut and he and Sarah enter into an agreement to share their resources until help arrives.

An uneasy tension permeates the book as Sarah and Heath d
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

Having read After the Darkness last year I thought I knew what to expect from Honey Brown and while I was rewarded with a compelling story of psychological suspense, the shocking twist in the tale of Dark Horse took me by surprise.

After a messy divorce and the reluctant sale of her property Sarah Barnard can't face a day of forced celebration with her parents and so just after dawn on Christmas morning, she packs supplies and canters into the bush upon her beloved horse, Tansy. Distracted, Sarah
Tansy was frisky, shying away from the horse float, not wanting to go inside at all. Sarah, light and fine boned, was no match for the big black horse, especially while she was throwing her head around. When Sarah found herself flat on the ground, dazed and bleeding, with a jaw that felt broken, she knew the battle was over. Tansy had won! After putting her beloved horse in the yard, and backing the float into the garage, she went inside to clean up. The hour was still early, but it was Christma ...more
4 ★s
I’m a big fan of Honey Brown's writing. Her earlier book Red Queen strongly grabbed my attention and my imagination with the intensity of its psychological suspense. This story shares a few elements in common with the earlier book - a remote, claustrophobic location, male and female protagonists in a highly fraught situation, guaranteed to draw out all sorts of feelings and prejudices.

Sarah Barnard, mid 30s, recently made penniless and homeless by her ex-husband’s infidelities and fraud, is
Lizzy Chandler
Apr 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
If you’re a fan of Jaye Ford’s Beyond Fear, Dawn Barker’s Fractured and Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, you’re going to love Dark Horse. It’s quite a ride. I would have read it in one sitting, if I hadn’t had to sleep. I curled up in front of a glowing slow combustion stove and, while the weather went crazy outside, was swept into the drama.

Brown has a style that I love: it’s immediate, the descriptions are fresh, the action is urgent. I could almost feel the Victorian alpine hills crowding in, felt
Vicki Tyley
Apr 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“After witnessing last year’s fifty-metre-high rolling fireballs, she’d wondered if the treetops were truly Satan’s home. And God resided in the water. Everything about that fire had smacked of hell.”Dark Horse

This is my second Honey Brown book. And while I enjoyed After the Darkness, this has to be my favourite read of the year so far. I literally couldn’t put it down.

Dark Horse delivers on all fronts. There is not a moment when something isn't happening. Brown somehow manages to imbue ever
Aug 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
OMG well did not see this ending!!! Another must read, I had the guy in the bush as the bad one, that's all I will say. Now as everyone knows I wasn't sure about this author to start with....however, I stand corrected I have now read all of her novels...all I can say is I will be the first to buy her next novel. Hope you are writing another novel now Honey Brown as I am waiting to read it.
Apr 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Sarah can’t spend Christmas at her mum and dad’s house, she just can’t. Still navigating the wreckage of her marriage, and the discovery that her husband of ten years had been having numerous affairs throughout their relationship, Sarah opts out of any festivities and instead decides to spend the day in the mountains. She saddles her prized black mare, Tansy, packs a picnic and a shotgun and sets out for the ranges that were once her office . . . this is one of the last times Sarah will be able ...more
Jennifer (JC-S)
‘We hope you enjoy your journey to the famous site of bushranger Sid Gibson’s grave at Hangman’s Hut’

It’s Christmas morning on the edge of the Victorian high country. Sarah Barnard’s marriage has collapsed, her trail-riding business has been bankrupted, and her parents have invited her to spend the day with them. Sarah’s determined to get some time to herself, and rides her horse Tansy up into the Mortimer Ranges. Riding up to Hangman’s Hut, a flash flood washes away the bridge Sarah and Tansy c
May 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I feel I'm not equipped to properly review this genre as I'm so new to it, but I'm equipped to have witnessed a story that held my attention from first word to last. Honey Brown (she has her own amazing story to tell - I only realised today - and seems to be a woman of amazing strength) has written a fantastic, gripping, clever, engaging and utterly enjoyable story. My main indicator of a books enjoyment is not wanting to put it down, not wanting to do what I should be doing and avoiding it all ...more
Bree T
Feb 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It’s Christmas Day and Sarah is lamenting her losses. She tells her parents she won’t be coming to their Christmas Day lunch and then she saddles her beloved black mare Tansy. What she needs is to be up in the mountains, away from everything. She packs a few things and then takes to the trails.

The weather surprises her – the flash flood sneaking up on her and it’s only by the skin of their teeth that she and Tansy avoid some sort of disaster. Sarah heads high up the mountain to the Hangman’s Hut
I must have been living under a rock? How have I not read Honey Brown before this .... Dark Horse blew my mind.

It's intense, edgy and tight. Dread creeps - pulse quickens - adrenalin pumps - heart sits in throat and you read til 3am because there's just no way you can sleep not knowing and when you figure out where it's going ... sucker punch right in the guts.

The disintegration of her marriage and business hasn't put Sarah in the mood for celebrating, rather than face Christmas Day with her p
Renee Booth (Sassy Book Lovers)
Intense, mysterious, intriguing, dangerous, all of these can easily describe Honey Brown's soon to be released novel Dark Horse.

As described in the blurb it's Christmas Day, and with a broken down business and marriage, Sarah sets off with Tansy (her horse) to escape reality when a freak storm hits and traps them both on the mountains. But they aren't the only ones trapped. An elusive, mysterious Heath is also there with excuses and stories that just don't seem right to Sarah. Can he be trusted?
It's Christmas day but instead of celebrating with her family Sarah Barnard is heading for the rugged Mortimer Ranges. With her marriage and business down the tubes, she is desperate to escape and is happy to spend the Christmas/New Year break alone on the mountain with just her beloved horse Tansy for company.

In too much of a hurry to check the weather forecast, Sarah is taken by surprise when a major weather event creates rains of biblical proportions with an accompanying flood, the like of wh
Emma Darcy
Jan 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
If this book had had one more workshop and edit, it could have been a 3. Unfortunately as it is printed, it doesn't make sense. It feels like three different drafts of the same story sliced together, but the conflicting details haven't been ironed out yet.

I gave it one star because I read it all the way to the end, mostly out of a sense of bewilderment, and another because I thought the twist was a genuinely clever one. It just wasn't well set up. And the sexual relationship between Sarah and Br

Honey Brown’s latest thriller, Dark Horse, is the kind of book you should not pick up without giving yourself enough time-out to finish it. Did it see me walk around the house in a daze, giving blank stares to any family member brave enough to approach me? Did it force me to survive on cold leftovers for a day because I did not want to waste valuable reading time by going shopping? Did it cause me to lodge my BAS statement late despite the threat of a hefty fine? Yes, yes and yes. Was it wort
Liz Filleul
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the best book I've read for ages. I've abandoned so many books lately that it was a relief as well as a pleasure to pick up one I didn't want to put down.

I read a Honey Brown book years ago that I didn't like at all and that put me off reading her others. But I saw this one praised highly by a friend the other day and thought I'd give it a try. And, wow - it was so cleverly written. I loved the location, the terrible weather, the tension on the mountain, and the twist. I borrowed it from
Anu Marji
Sep 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
A failed ride-trek entrepreneur Sarah rides off to a mountain to spend her Christmas in solitude, away from her shambles of a marriage and overbearing parents. Following a storm, she bumps into a mystery man, Heath, and they are forced to camp together for days in deteriorating conditions, caring for Sarah's precious horse Tansy. Events take a turn for worse when Sarah realises that for her best interest, she should be as far from the mountain and Heath as possible.

The book is well-paced, depic
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An twist that I never saw coming. What I thought was the truth and I had worked out what was going on made this book even more interesting then what it was. A great Australian author, whom I have never read before has made me interested in reading other books by Honey Brown.
Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum
May 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: signed-by-author
Set in the Australian bush, Dark Horse is the story of Sarah, a divorcee who appears to set out on horseback for some 'alone time' in the Mortimer Ranges on Christmas morning.

Bad weather soon springs up and flash flooding takes out the bridge and most of the riding tracks. Sarah takes her horse to high ground, setting up camp at Hangman's Hut. All is relatively calm until a handsome and well-built man walks out of the bush and turns the story on it's head.

Where did he come from? Why doesn't he h
Jan 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
I picked up Dark Horse by Honey Brown from the local library. I've been meaning to read more of her work after finishing and loving Red Queen last year.

I find this book really hard to review because I don't want to give away spoilers. The setting of the Australian Bush during a flood at Christmas time is vivid enough for you to smell the mud. This country of ours is under-appreciated for how rough, rugged, and beautiful it really is and shines as a backdrop.

Honey Brown has a fantastic way of dr
Dale Williams
Apr 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Another great psychological thrill ride from one of my favourite authors Honey Brown. Brilliant characters, tense original setting, unexpected twist you won't see coming and some great writing. I read this book within 24 hours. A real page turner. If you are familiar with this great Australian author you'll know her trademark is taking the readers into dark territory where you begin to question everything. I also recommend her earlier books especially the brilliant Red Queen. Buy a copy now ... ...more
May 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
This book had a lot of potential. But sadly, it was far from the thrilling game of cat and mouse I had anticipated. The two main characters were uninteresting and at times, plain weird. Maybe their backgrounds weren't explored enough to know them, but I couldn't relate to them. The story line was drawn out and patchy, and I found myself skipping ahead a couple of pages at a time trying to get interested. After loving Red Queen so much, I had high hopes for this one. Disappointed.
Mar 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is some fabulous storytelling. I was swept along for the ride ... and then, once I reached the twist, that seemed to come from nowhere ... I just wanted to start from the beginning again.

THAT is my favourite kind of book.

I have only read one other Honey Brown books - Red Queen - but this one is my favourite by far.
Karen ⊰✿
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook_r
Warning. If you are going to read this, be prepared to finish it in one day.
I'm still reeling.
I loved the descriptions of the Australian bush. I felt like I was right there and could see and smell all that wonderful flora and fauna.
This psychological thriller was expertly paced and as the layers were revealed one at a time I was left in awe.
Certainly a book that makes you think!!!
Stephen Ormsby
Mar 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
I have loved Honey Brown's novels since the first one came out. This is no exception. Tense, taut and a hell of a ride - all with one big twist at the end that I didn't see coming. Brown deserves to be known as one of the best Australian thriller writers around.
Feb 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2015
Excellently executed. Honey Brown continues to impress.
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Author Honey Brown is an Australian Author. In this book she has absolutely excelled.I have never come across a storyline like this. I just didn't see the twist at the end coming at all. Highly recommend.
It's Christmas morning on the edge of the rugged Mortimer Ranges. Sarah Barnard saddles Tansy, her black mare. She is heading for the bush, escaping the reality of her broken marriage and her bankrupted trail-riding business.

Sarah seeks solace in the ranges. When a flash flood traps her on Devil
Jackie McMillan
(2.5 stars)
"Sarah wondered if knowing his surname would make any difference. She'd taken a man's surname and still been left in the dark." The first part of the book reads like straight Mills & Boon. It's heterosexual in nature and uses gendered, disparaging language, usually as the female protagonist's inner dialogue: "Her eyes and cheeks in particular were warm, the skin puffy and tearstained from her breakdown in the shower: her female moment. She could kick herself for being so weak." Metaph
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Honey Brown lives in country Victoria with her husband and two children. She is the author of four books: Red Queen, The Good Daughter, After the Darkness and Dark Horse. Red Queen was published to critical acclaim in 2009 and won an Aurealis Award, and The Good Daughter was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award and shortlisted for the Barbara Jefferis Award in 2011. After the Darkness ...more

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