Poisoned Pen, Oct 2002, 24.95, 299 pp.
Deciding not to follow in the footsteps of his dad, Steve Cline drops out of college and accepts a job at Maryland's Foxdale Farm. Though he works hard, Steve feels good about his decision as he feels his future with thoroughbreds has jut begun as Foxdale trains and boards jumpers.
Steve nurses an ailing horse that he visits at night to see how the steed is doing. However, this evening, he walks in on a horse rustling and he is fortunate to escape with his life as the thugs try to abduct him too. Fearing they will return to insure he cannot identify them, Steve begins his own sleuthing over the objections and dire warning of the police.
Though the villains are too nasty for this tale, readers will risk anything to peruse Kit Ehrman's entertaining amateur sleuth story. AT RISK gallops at a fast pace while providing insight into the thoroughbred business that will please fans of Dick Francis. However, the novel works because the “jockeys”, especially those at Foxdale who propel the plot forward seem genuine and heroic. Readers will root for Steve Cline to reach the finish line before his foes and want him to perform in future “jumping races”.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner