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Dead Heat by William Murray

Dead Heat

by William Murray

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I was taken by the racetrack accuracy of this book, the author's evident familiarity with the world of trainers and owners, jockeys and agents; stakes horses, horses running for a claiming price, horses in maiden races, etc. And Murray clearly knows the ins and outs of an actual race, from the influence of the track surface on a particular horse to the predilections of certain horses to run in front and others to come from behind. And he knows a thing or two about betting as well. All of which, as a racetrack railbird over the years, I appreciated and enjoyed.

But as a mystery reader, I found the plot unconvincing and at times uninteresting, drawn as it is against the so much more convincing details of the racing game. And after a while the characters' repeated assertions about how wonderful the world of the racetrack is--better than any other--put me off my feed, so to speak. Though I don't disagree with the sentiment, it yanked me away from the story and all but sank the plot beneath the notion that the mystery was no more than a device to enable Murray to talk about the world of racing. ( )
  copyedit52 | Sep 16, 2009 |
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When horse trainer Jake Fontana hires a troubled young woman to work for him, he has no idea she is driven by her personal demons to one day become a race reader, and her friendship with Sal "Bones" Righetti, a former mob enforcer, could help her realize her dreams.… (more)

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