Sunday, March 10, 2013

Horse Racing, International Terrorism and Murder: Blood and Roses by A.K. Alexander

Two young jockeys are killed; their legs broken before they are shot. The killer believes that too many throughbreds die on the track from broken legs. The killings illustrate the cruelty of man to horses. Holly Jennings and her partner Chad are assigned to the case. Holly is a widow. Her husband, also a police officer, was killed in an explosion. Now she is planning to remarry, but she still wonders about her first husband, especially since his body was never recovered.

The case of the jockeys goes on hold for six months while Holly and Chad work a high profile case. Then the killer strikes again. This time he kills an owner by filing him with a sedative typically used on horses and pin firing is legs, again a techniques used on horse supposedly to make them head faster. The killer believes that this is another demonstration of the way humans hurt horses.

In the background, a group of investors has built a fabulous race track in Las Vegas and is sponsoring a 50 million dollar race. The best colts and fillies in the country will be invited. So the killers and the victims are drawn to the big event, but is the anger at the treatment of horses the only reason for the murders?

I enjoyed the parts of the book dealing with horse racing. They were accurate and well presented. However, coupling horse racing with international terrorism was a stretch for me. I found the ending totally implausible. The author obviously is very familiar with the world of thoroughbred racing, but seems to be less so with the world of police work. If you're interested in horses, or horse racing, you'll enjoy this book.

I reviewed this book for the Amazon Vine Program.