The Official Site of Robert Barclay, Author

Novelist Robert Barclay


Cover of Robert Barclay AUthor new book Girl in the orphanage

“What a powerful opening! There’s no dead body, blood spattering, guns blazing, nakedness, fangs and whatnot, yet it’s a page-turner more than the rest. I’ve always wanted to write an opening that is both emotional and thought-provoking. This is one of the few. This is the kind of book you read NOT only to enjoy the story, but also EACH sentence.”

 Dessara Harasse, Romance Author.

 “Masterful and gripping, as if the author anticipates everything we as readers will demand and he delivers… Exceptional follow on to The Diary of Katy Yehonala…”

Kelly, Indiebook Reviewer


“The Girl in the Orphanage by Robert Barclay (Shawline Publishing Group) is a powerful and confronting book…

When charity founder Simon is murdered in a remote village, his wife Katy Yehonala, and daughter Clara travel to Cambodia to uncover how this nightmare came to pass. They are determined to work out if his death is, as the authorities would like them to think, an accidental killing in a rescue mission gone wrong. Or if the devoted husband, father and dedicated charity worker was targeted and deliberately silenced by powerful people, because what he knew could embarrass the government and threaten to disrupt income streams for corrupt officials.

Written as both a murder mystery and a dramatic expose of the plight of young children being trafficked in South East Asia, The Girl in the Orphanage is written with both great sensitivity and stark realism. It vividly portrays Cambodia’s significant child trafficking problem, where children can be sold, held captive, and forced into prostitution by powerful crime syndicates – many linked to corrupt political figures. However even whilst describing Cambodia’s seedy underworld, because of the vivacity of the two main characters Katy and Clara, the book also manages to provide a glimpse of the country’s rich culture, lush natural beauty and the people’s traditional Buddhist dignity.  This is a disturbing yet compelling read that is highly recommended”.

LynB, Beauty and Lace Book Reviews                                                           

I’ve started reading this book, but must confess that I haven’t finished it yet as for some reason it’s been giving me nightmares. I really want to finish it though because I enjoy the way it is written and I am keen to know how it all turns out – I just know that for me, I’ll have to take it slowly. The book came beautifully wrapped with a lovely handwritten note which is always appreciated. Thank you Beauty and Lace for letting me review this book I will try to come back on and make another comment when I’ve finished it! >:o)    

Simone, Beauty and Lace Book Reviews

“…The story is written in a way that you feel as if you are right there with Katy and Clara, these two amazing and strong women who will keep investigating until they find the truth. Their journey takes them into a world of danger, lies and bribes, crime and murder, drugs and betrayals. Also, rather surprisingly love!

The book is the second novel in the Butterfly Dynasty series. It follows on from “The Diary of Katy Yehonala”. It is not necessary to have read the first book, as this book stands alone well.  I thoroughly recommend this book.  It is well written, on a subject well researched, with plenty of action to keep you engaged as you put all the pieces of the puzzle together.

The book is a nominee for the 2023 Miles Franklin Literary Award…”

Anne Steer, Beauty and Lace Book Reviews

“The Girl in the Orphanage felt so real, I forgot it was a piece of fiction. This book is not only a murder mystery but an expose into the depths of child exploitation – an area where most Australians know very little about.

Set in Cambodia, it focuses on the stories of some female characters. Firstly, the well-to-do mother and daughter – Katy and Clara – who are seeking answers to the death of their beloved family member, Simon, who was killed rescuing children from sex traffickers. Clara is a fascinating character. She is a talented pianist who finds out a lot about herself in the course of the novel. It is also about Chavy and her story. After all, it is Simon’s manuscript about the little girl that brings them to Cambodia.

There’s a fair amount of action but I must admit it took me a few days to get through this book. It’s not a light read so I feel it wouldn’t be for everyone. I liked the supporting characters, enjoyed the plot and guessing who was corrupt and who wasn’t. I felt very satisfied with the ending.

Thank you for the opportunity to read this book. For a fiction book, it certainly made me feel for these exploited children who grow up in such poverty, and thankful for those people that are working on the frontline. I also wish I could be so brave as Simon, Katy and Clara.”

Kylie K, Beauty and Lace Book Reviews.

Read the full review at BEAUTY AND LACE