Poisoned Pen, 2004 (2004)
Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth
hough John McEvoy's debut novel,
, doesn't quite make it, he gets a golden 'E' for effort. His depiction of the behind-the-scenes of horseracing rings true. The story line is well planned. The plethora of interesting characters is top rate – including the media mogul who has nude female rollerbladers circling him as he works by his pool. But the locations were a trifle weak. I really wasn't sure where I was and had to remind myself. And there never was an admiring description of a horse although that animal was the focal point of the whole exercise.
he advice in writer land is to '
show not tell.
' A lot of telling went on in this story. That telling was very interesting though, with backgrounds of the characters' lives. These ran the gamut from nice people, to evil minds, to folks totally around the bend. Unfortunately, their histories did not further the story. That said, I liked Jack Doyle, protagonist and unwilling horse minder. The dénouement proved to be exciting and slightly daft - I got a good laugh as well as the satisfaction of seeing the bad guys lose. I look forward to McEvoy's second in the Jack Doyle series. Practice makes perfect.
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