Troubador The Perfect Pair

Released: 03/02/2014

ISBN: 9781783062782

Format: Hardback

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The Perfect Pair

The Mirror Cracks


This is the second book in the dolphin trilogy The Perfect Pair, the factionalised memoir of Europe’s top 1970s dolphin trainer. It reveals the plight of the captive dolphin and gives an insight into the relationship between one particular trainer and his dolphins, whisking the reader on a journey deep into the dolphin psyche. Sometimes heart-breaking, sometimes funny – always compelling. Within these pages dwells a graphic story of the plight of the commercial dolphin. However, there are also heart-warming tales of the trainers and handlers who work with them. The Perfect Pair: The Mirror Cracks is the continuation of The Perfect Pair: The Enchanted Mirror (Matador, 2012) – now a core text for the BA(Hons) English and Creative Writing Course at The University of Salford. It is an immensely personal account of a young boy’s first love – a special love that takes him on a mystical journey deep into the world of the dolphin, effectively casting him into a reality that constantly questions man’s overall appraisal of these very special people of the sea. It tells of a mind connection – a psychic bond so strong that it enables the boy and his dolphins to become Europe’s top performing team… the best of the best. No one reading this book will ever view a dolphin in the same light again.


COVER 8/10
Generally, the readers liked the cover of the book. They felt that the picture on the front and back could have been incorporated better into the text but, apart, from that, they liked the easy-to-read font and the excellent comments on the back cover. One reader put in her feedback, ‘Black is always a very dangerous colour to have on a book cover. It suggest many things: horror, darkness, foreboding; oddly, this book is not any of them. Why, I wonder, pick black.’

All of the readers loved this book. They thought it was wonderfully written and, often, very moving. They liked the way the authors developed the bond between the young boy and the dolphins and how they educated the readers not only on dolphins and how they behave but also the inner workings of the industry and the treatment of dolphins in captivity. ‘This book would be of interest to lots of different readers: those with an interest in dolphins, those with an interest in the commercial exploitation of these animals, and those who just want to enjoy a good story.’

The readers discovered no punctuation, spelling or grammatical errors. Oh, apart from p134, extra space before the word “Gone.” One reader put in his feedback, ‘This is a very well edited book, not only the grammar and punctuation but also the pacing. I turned every page knowing the next would keep me highly entertained, all the way to the satisfying ending. I understand this is the first part of a trilogy. I look forward to reading the next two.’

STYLE 10/10
The readers thought the authors' style of writing was very accessible. They describe setting and characters well and they work well with speech. One reader put, ‘The writers handled the developing relationship between the two dolphins and the boy very well. I could really feel the love growing in the boy for the two dolphins in his care.’ Another reader put, ‘What I liked most about this book was the pacing. It moved along with speed and grace. A lot of new authors find this difficult to do. The Holroyds don’t.’

‘A fascinating, in depth look at the world of dolphins in captivity. Highly recommended.' The Wishing Shelf Awards

Of the 26 readers:
17 liked the cover; 9 suggested working a little with the illustrations. Black and white on such a fascinating and colourful tale just felt wrong to them.
20 of the readers thought the best part of this book was the developing relationship between the dolphins and the boy.
4 thought the best part was the way the authors depicted the often ‘cruel’ methods of keeping dolphins in captivity.
26 of the reader want to read the next two in the trilogy.

"The Perfect Pair: The Enchanted Mirror" has scooped Bronze in Non-Fiction category of The Wishing Shelf Independent Book Awards 2013.

"The Perfect Pair: The Enchanted Mirror" now available for Kindle and other e-readers.

Following in the footsteps of "The Perfect Pair: The Enchanted Mirror", "The Perfect Pair: The Mirror Cracks" has already been made a key text for Dr Ursula Hurley's English and Creative Writing Course at the University of Salford.

Rave celebrity reviews already flooding in for the second book in the dolphin trilogy, "The Perfect Pair: The Mirror Cracks".

Dr Ursula Hurley, Senior Lecturer in English and Creative Writing at The University of Salford, has made The Perfect Pair: The Enchanted Mirror a set text for the Creative Non-Fiction module of her course as from next semester. David and Tracy due to give a talk there soon. 13/11/12

David and Tracy have now been signed by The Leo Media & Entertainment Group who will be representing them globally in publishing, radio, TV and - potentially - film.

This is a story well known to those who work in the dolphin industry: a tale that over the passage of time has taken on an almost mythical quality. It tells of a young boy who took the dolphin world by storm, creating ‘The Perfect Pair’, two dolphins who worked in absolute unison, eventually achieving the much-revered somersault routine - a shadow ballet of exquisite grace and beauty. However, the tale of their ‘psychic trainer’, as he became known, sent shivers down the spines of managers, who deemed the boy’s total control over his charges as dangerous to Company interests. So ‘The Perfect Pair’ and theirs special trainer were deliberately written out of dolphinarium history… until now. Because of this book – based on official dolphin logbooks, long-since thought destroyed - the dream team is no longer consigned to marine folklore, but reborn, allowing Duchess and Herb’e to once again weave their magic. An enthralling story for those too young to remember… and a shameful reminder for those too old to forget.

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David C Holroyd and Tracy J Holroyd

At 11, David won a prestigious scholarship to Bolton Art School, then at 15 became apprenticed to his father as a Signwriter and Illustrator. However, at 18 a leading leisure company employed him as a Dolphin Presenter. His natural talent and understanding of animals immediately elevated him to the position of Trainer, from where he quickly became recognised as one of Europe’s best trainers. On reaching the top, he left the dolphin industry, vowing never to return. He became a casino Croupier, eventually rising to the position of Inspector. He later moved back to his roots working as a Signwriter and Illustrator. He now also works part-time for a local radio station as an actor and writer.

Tracy has worked largely as a Further Education Lecturer in ICT, Business Admin and Creative Writing, as well as writing short stories and articles for several national children’s/teen magazines. She has been widely published in “Shout Magazine”, “Cool Girl”, “Animals and You”, “The Mandy” and “The Bunty”, plus numerous others. She published her first two books in 2011, and has since been working on “The Perfect Pair – The Enchanted Mirror” with her brother, David.

David and Tracy working at their local radio station

My beautiful, beautiful Duchess
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