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Friday, 26 February 2016

‘Dead on Course’ by Glenis Wilson

Published by Severn House,
28 August 2015. 
ISBN 978 0 7278 8544 9

Harry Radcliffe is a very likable chap.  He is also a champion jump jockey who seems to have a penchant for stumbling across dead bodies.  Following a previous adventure in which Harry discovered who had murdered Jake Smith’s brother Carl, Jake now wants Harry to find out who killed Jo-Jo who just happens to be Jake’s sister!  Jake is not a nice character.  He tells the unfortunate Harry that he will kill him, and maim or kill Chloe, the daughter of one of Harry’s best friends, and a racehorse owner, if he does not succeed.  Harry has little choice but to comply with Jake’s dictate.

So, whilst Harry is trying to get his career back on track following a particularly severe fall that had put him out of action for months, he is compelled to enter the dangerous and murky world of convicts, ex-convicts and crooked business men. His only company is his cat, Leo, a right Romeo if ever there was one!  There are a couple of ladies who adore Harry but, though tempted, he is held back from becoming involved because he still loves his estranged wife, Annabel, who lives nearby and is now pregnant by another man.

The story moves along at a brisk pace. As Harry starts winning races again and sustains more injuries both on and off the course, more bodies appear at his feet. His friend and boss, racehorse trainer Mike, is the only person whom Harry feels able to confide in completely.  Mike provides some backup for Harry, but mostly Harry faces the villains on his own.

The story has a very authentic feel for the horse racing fraternity.  The dedication of those involved in the industry comes across well, as do the dangers, hardships, and injuries routinely faced and suffered by the jockeys and stable boys.  I learnt a lot about a sport that is obviously addictive to those embroiled in it.  Dead on Course is an entertaining read, and if you do not have an interest in horse racing when you start the book, you may well have developed one by the time you finish. I thoroughly recommend it.  Although you do not need to have read the first two books in this series, it might be helpful to read them before you start this one, or indeed -if the ending is anything to go by - the next one.
Reviewer  Angela Crowther

Glenis Wilson was born in Radcliffe-on-Trent, Nottinghamhire. She was always a scribbler from childhood. She has been a member of Nottingham Writers' Club for 35 years, and is also a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association, the Crime Writers' Association and Mystery People group.  Glenis has eight published novels.

Angela Crowther is a retired scientist.  She has published many scientific papers but, as yet, no crime fiction.  In her spare time Angela belongs to a Handbell Ringing group, goes country dancing and enjoys listening to music, particularly the operas of Verdi and Wagner.

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