Unbridled CL

Mark Daniel, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $17.95 (223p) ISBN 978-0-89919-922-1
Any writer of a horse-racing thriller, especially one set in Britain's steeplechase milieu, risks comparison with Dick Francis. Racing journalist Daniel stands up well, giving us a dazzling insider's view of the sport, particularly `` 'chasing.'' Top jockey Georgie Blane is in his mid-30s, married and a father but still something of a restless Irish kid, not above an extramarital fling or ``pulling'' the occasional race for cash. Pushed by his wife to pay the bills, Georgie agrees to pull Vantage, the odds-on favorite in a big race. Quixotically he changes his mind, wins the race and tries to ruin the gamblers behind the fix. Disaster follows and although some of the villains are punished, Georgie's life falls apart. The many characters and the ambience ring absolutely true, with some of the most exciting and realistic race scenes recently penned, yet Daniel's affection for his setting doesn't cloud his vision: horses are ``very seriously stupid.'' A top-notch, winning debut. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-380-71443-8
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