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Close Call    by John McEvoy order for
Close Call
by John McEvoy
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, Audio, CD
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

John McEvoy brings the experience of his years as a racing journalist to his mysteries. Close Call is McEvoy's third in his Jack Doyle series.

This one will keep you guessing and holding your breath until the very end. At the behest of a friend, Jack agrees to hire on with a failing race track as publicity manager. The owner feels some good PR might entice more racing fans to attend the racing meets and keep the track in the black until the placement of slot machines at tracks will save the dying business.

Not everyone is on the same page with this. The owner and her cousin are joint heirs of the track. The cousin is a big time bookie in Ireland and wants an infusion of cash to expand his own business. This is where the suspense begins.

McEvoy brings the world of horses and racing to life in the pages of Close Call. He not only knows his subject but is an adroit writer who can keep his readers turning pages long into the night. Jack is a very likable character, well-fleshed out with his own code of conduct. He has his faults, as do we all. His trip to Ireland brought back many memories for me as he described the Ireland of today. I could stand with him in Kinsale and enjoy the scenery.

Even if Close Call were just ho-hum, the ending would make up for it. But the whole darn thing is good very worthy of a read.

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