cover image Gargantuan: A Ruby Murphy Mystery

Gargantuan: A Ruby Murphy Mystery

Maggie Estep / Author Three Rivers Press (CA) $12.95 (272p) IS

Five separate narrators tell a sometimes muddled story involving race fixing, kidnapping and murder in Estep's second Ruby Murphy mystery (after 2003's Hex), set primarily at New York's Belmont Park. The most distinctive voice belongs to Ruby, a good-hearted gal who's taken up with a troubled jockey, Attila Johnson, after the unexpected departure of her FBI agent boyfriend, Ed Burke. Attila, torn between his attraction to Ruby and his love for his seriously disturbed wife, also has problems on the track where he's trying to overcome past mistakes. Ed Burke, Ruby's pal Big Sal and sad loner Ben Nester provide the other points-of-view, but their combined tale of tangled relationships, misunderstandings and jealousies isn't always easy to follow. Still, Estep's ability to take readers into the""backside"" at the racetrack where the horses, jockeys, grooms and hotwalkers work make this an entertaining ride.