Riders Down (Jack Doyle) Description
From Publishers Weekly The death of 98-year-old Chicago bookie Bernie Glockner is ruled a suicide at the start of McEvoy’s fine second horse-racing mystery (after 2004’s Blind Switch), but Glockner’s nephew, mob-connected Moe Kellman, knows better and asks racing columnist Matt O’Connor to sniff around a bit. Glockner’s demise proves merely the first of many as a brilliant, eccentric and ruthless villain embarks on a twisted path to claiming a fortune. Horse racing has always attracted a wide range of colorful characters, and McEvoy portrays them all with an obvious affection and a sharp eye, from jockeys, trainers and touts to fans, newsmen and suckers. O’Connor has few illusions about the sport, but even he is unprepared for the kind of peril unleashed by his probing a race-fixing scam. Unlike Jack Doyle, the reluctant sleuth in Blind Switch, O’Connor is a natural with all the makings of a series hero. He combines charm, racing expertise and a willingness to go the distance that will carry the reader all the way to the finish line. (Mar.) Copyright Â© Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Read more From Booklist *Starred Review* McEvoy has created a winning protagonist in Chicago turf writer Matt O’Connor, who has an abundance of friends in mostly low places and his finger firmly on the pulse of the national horse-racing scene. He has created an even better villain in Claude ‘the professor’ Bledsoe, whose cushy life as a perpetual student will come to an abrupt end unless he can produce $1 million before his trust fund expires in a few months’ time. No $1 million, and it’s straight to the job market at the age of 50, sans resume, but if he can come up with that much money, he’ll inherit Grandma Bledsoe’s fortune and be set for life. Bledsoe, a brilliant if monstrously egomaniacal psychopath, hatches an ingenious plot to amass the needed dough by betting on fixed races. The scent of something rotten at the track attracts O’Connor, however, and soon the writer and his girlfriend, trainer Maggie Collins, are scheduled to share the fate of nine other racetrackers who have been sacrificed for the greater good of Bledsoe’s financial security. McEvoy, who was himself a correspondent for the Daily Racing Form for many years, is dead-on in his descriptions and accounts of Thoroughbred racing. He also gives us characters we can care about and suspense enough to make the blood race like a stakes-winning sprinter. That’s all we ask of a racetrack thriller, and McEvoy delivers. Dennis DodgeCopyright Â© American Library Association. All rights reserved Read more See all Editorial Reviews
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