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Riders Down    by John McEvoy order for
Riders Down
by John McEvoy
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Writers are often told to write about that which they know. John McEvoy, with his newest mystery, has taken that advice to heart and written a slam-dunk (sorry, wrong analogy) of a book about the horse racing world. Someone who didn't know the background of the sport and the machinations surrounding it could not have written such a wonderful tale. Blind Switch, McEvoy's first entrance on the scene, made me anxious to read another by him. And here it is!

Winning jockeys are being killed by a sniper, while veteran jockeys are throwing races. Newspaperman Matt O'Connor sees a correlation and starts his own investigation into the crimes. His detecting leads him into the behind-the-scenes world of the sport. And what scenes they are. He brings to life the race tracks, the stables, the jockeys, the betting windows and, best of all, the sometimes nefarious people who populate the racing backdrop. I could almost smell the odor coming from the horse stalls and feel the anticipation of the crowds watching a race.

Action doesn't take a back seat to the horse racing ambience. It takes a strong constitution to read Riders Down, whose pace keeps the reader breathless. It's hard to put down - a really good read.

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