Following review appears in April 12 issue of “Horse of the Delaware Valley.” http://www.horsedelval.com/
Sex, betrayal, murder propel new race track thriller from author Sasscer Hill
By MARTHA BARBONE
Author Sasscer Hill has hit her stride with her second, and hopefully one of many more, race track mysteries, ‘Racing from Death’.
Jockey and assistant trainer, Nikki Latrelle, who readers first met in Hill’s Full Mortality, is charged with the responsibility to take a load of Virginia-breds from Laurel Park in Maryland to Colonial Downs near Richmond for six weeks, where owners would get 50-percent on top of purse money for Virginia- breds.
Before loading up the van, Latrelle had already stumbled on the beginning of what would become an adrenaline rushing stay when a fellow jock died suddenly from designer weight-loss drugs.
At the funeral of Paco Martinez, the victim of the lethal concoction, Latrelle is approached by a stranger, Jay Cormack, an agent with the Operations and Enforcement arm of the Virginia Racing Commission, who asked her to be his eyes and ears on the backstretch in his investigation into illegal drugs.
At first she refused, but as events unfolded she was drawn in despite her misgivings.
Latrelle attracts danger like a magnet, and from the minute she and her friend and exercise rider, Lorna Doone, who had overcome her own drug demons, arrived at their assigned stabling, far on the backside near dense woods, the story takes the first of many plot twists when a strange man emerges, moaning, from the pines dragging a shovel saying, “Everybody knows, but they won’t tell.”
Driven off by Latrelle, Doone and the groom, Ramon, the man shuffles away, and, when the horses are settled in, the women leave to go to the rental cottage where they will be staying, only to be confronted by still more mystery and danger.
Racing from Death has all the elements of a compelling read, sex, betrayal, racing, danger and ultimately murder. Colorful characters abound, including an exotic and temperamental owner who was once a super-model and who is involved romantically with one of the prime suspects.
The mystic, Mello, who appeared in Full Mortality, arrives to soothe Latrelle's own horse, a filly so talented but equally unmanageable that she is nicknamed ‘Hellish’. Latrelle encounters some of the most unsavory gang members in the heart of their headquarters, a meth lab, to ever disgrace the pages of a novel where she barely escapes with her life.
Racing from Death, available at Amazon.com for $7.94, is a pageturner that does not disappoint.
Copyright © 2012 The Horse of Delaware Valley 03/16/2012