Fire Horse

Willie Shoemaker, Author, Bill Shoemaker, Author Ballantine Books $22 (0p) ISBN 978-0-449-90596-8
Former champion jockey Shoemaker follows up his debut outing, Stalking Horse, with another compelling, intricately plotted tale of murder, greed and-of course-the world of thoroughbred racing. Coley Killebrew once again functions as narrator and sleuth; here the ex-jockey is asked by Johnny Rousseau, his Vegas-based co-owner of their L.A. restaurant, to shadow the daughter of Wilton Dresner, a right-wing rant-radio and TV star. Johnny, smitten with Dresner's daughter, is determined to know her reason for delaying their marriage. Coley's discoveries of a blackmail scheme and a murdered photographer lead him to a number of unsavory characters that include members of the mob, right-wing crazies and a somewhat mad scientist, and to an insurance fraud that could kill a number of expensive horses. Further complicating matters is his love for the statuesque Lea, daughter of Raymond Starbuck, a big-time PI who disapproves of the romance-until Coley and Lea come up against the bad guys in a heartpounding climax. Coley remains an appealing character, though,with Starbuck appearing seldom here, readers might wish for more of the latter's high-handedness that enlivened the first book. Once again displaying racetrack expertise to fine advantage, Shoemaker solidifies his position in the winner's circle. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/02/1995
Release date: 01/01/1995
Genre: Fiction
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