Select one of the keywords
Deadfall    by Lyndon Stacey order for
by Lyndon Stacey
Order:  USA  Can
Hutchinson, 2005 (2004)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Lyndon Stacey writes mysteries loosely rooted in the British racing world, just like Dick Francis did - and they're just as good. Having thoroughly enjoyed Blindfold, I opened the pages of Deadfall with enthusiasm and wasn't disappointed.

The star is Linc Tremayne, a Viscount's son, who has gone against his obdurate father's wishes by pursuing his passion for horse riding. Linc's mother was also a rider who died in a three-day-eventing accident. Linc, who studied business management, now works for his father as his estate manager, though their relationship remains difficult. Late for an appointment one evening at the Hathaways, whose stable he's rented for his horse Noddy, Linc arrives to find all the tack stolen and young Abby Hathaway unconscious on the ground. Taken to hospital, she lies in a coma, and her parents and sisters, who have become a second family to Linc, are devastated.

In between estate work and his riding and racing commitments, and despite being warned off by the police, Linc steadily pursues an investigation into a ring of thefts from riding stables, the latest of which was at the Hathaways. He turns up a connection to a man named Barnaby or Barney. Clearly, someone doesn't like what he's doing. Threatening notes appear and there are several attempts on his life. While all this goes on, Linc meets the Hathaway's elder daughter Josie (a model) for the first time, and an attraction grows quickly between them. The couple also get on well with Linc's brother Crispin and his wife Nikki (who was Linc's girlfriend before meeting his brother).

Lyndon Stacey develops a complex web of villainy, with betrayal close to home, and the backdrop of a quiet hospital drama with a beloved little girl's life and future at stake. A series of thrilling close escapes culminate in violence and terror at the old Farthingscourt Mill, which Linc had been renovating. Don't miss Deadfall - I plan to work my way through all of Stacey's backlist.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Mystery books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews