Close Call

McEvoy John, Author Poisoned Pen $24.95 (286p) ISBN 978-1-59058-495-8

In McEvoy’s so-so third horse-racing mystery (after 2006’s Riders Down ), failed ad man Jack Doyle, introduced in 2004’s Blind Switch , is happy to land a gig as public relations director for Monee Park, a struggling thoroughbred racetrack south of Chicago. He soon finds himself smitten with the track’s beautiful owner, Celia McCann, who’s struggling to keep Monee Park afloat and tend to her husband afflicted with Lou Gehrig’s disease. Proposed legislation that would allow the installation of video slot machines could save Monee Park, but Celia’s co-heir, scheming Irishman Niall Hanratty, is determined to make sure the deal falls through. Confronted with Niall’s goons—hired to sabotage the track and force Celia to sell the property to real estate developers—Jack realizes he’s stepped into the middle of something bigger than horse racing. McEvoy sounds the right notes, but he did a better job of capturing the flavor of the racing world in his previous two novels. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 01/07/2008
Release date: 03/01/2008
Genre: Fiction
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