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Blood and Roses [Kindle Edition]

A.K. Alexander
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.95
Kindle Price: $4.99
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Book Description

Someone is torturing and killing high-stakes players in the horse-racing world; all signs point to an animal activist gone rogue. But San Diego CSI Holly Jennings knows better. She’s seen enough violence in her time to know the difference between a killer bent on revenge and a killer seeking sheer destruction.

To stop him, Holly must venture beyond the gleaming facade of jockey silks and Derby hats into the seedy underbelly of the racing world, where ambition and greed trump ethics and fair play, and people will do anything—even kill—to win. But just when she thinks the killer is within her reach, a ghost from the past returns to threaten it all: her case, her job…and her life.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

San Diego CSI and detective Holly Jennings (Daddy’s Home, 2010) and her partner have hit roadblocks with the recent murders of two jockeys found with broken legs and carrots placed between their teeth. Months later, a racehorse owner linked to an animal-abuse scandal is found with mutilations resembling a brutal Thoroughbred medical treatment along with the carrot coup de grâce. The killer left cryptic notes on racing forms at each scene, indicating that the murders are revenge for industry abuses. Holly races from California tracks to Lexington’s horse farms vetting suspects among trainers, equine-medicine entrepreneurs, racing investors, and animal rescuers to find the killer before he or she stalks the next target. The novel’s exploration of the horse-racing industry is fascinating, with excellent setting descriptions and character-led insight into the industry’s multifaceted ethical issues. Unfortunately, the introduction of an implausible terrorist plot late in the novel distracts from what began as a solid investigation into competing motives for crime in an intriguing industry. --Christine Tran


"I inhaled A.K. Alexander’s nerve-wracking thriller, Blood and Roses. As a horseracing fan, I am often hard to please when it comes to books set on the racetrack. No problem here: I reveled in the vivid and memorable world she brought to the page, a special place suffused with desire and deceit, violence and love. Holly Jennings is my kind of detective-I would follow her anywhere."
-J. Carson Black, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Survivors Club

Product Details

  • File Size: 668 KB
  • Print Length: 317 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (August 20, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00A8R9LXM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,678 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging thriller April 16, 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've been a fan of Dick Francis novels for years, and this latest book from A. K. Alexander reminds of Francis' stories in many ways. I haven't yet read any of her other works, but Blood and Roses was a nice place to start.

Having grown up around horses, I enjoy when there is an element of racing, steeple chasing or other competition in the plot. This mystery begins with two jockeys violently murdered and that's just the tip of what the killer has planned. CSI Holly Jenkins, who was the protagonist in another of Alexander's novels, tries to piece everything together and help put a stop to the madness before many more get hurt.

This was a fast-paced, enjoyable read for me. I liked Holly's character, and the way she figured things out and escaped danger was written in a believable manner instead of making her out to be too much the brilliant heroine. There were plenty of plot surprises. This was not a tale that I could figure out from reading the first few chapters. It definitely had some twists that I did not see coming, but the resolution wrapped up nicely. Holly also had some personal issues to deal with during the story. Those too, came to a satisfying ending. The chapters were short and the action was engaging. The book was certainly a page turner and I finished it in two sittings.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I could - dare I say it - rule the world! July 23, 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Two young jockeys - a man and woman - are dating on the sly while quickly moving up in the horse racing world. But they are kidnapped, brutally tortured, and then murdered by a psycho who clearly has much more in mind. Man oh man, what an electrifying and promising start to a novel! I was sure it was destined for greatness, and watched unbelieving as it slowly but inexorably came right off the rails.

There are two problems here. First, while this is pitched as a mystery/thriller, it's more properly defined as a romance novel. Lots of feelings, conflicts, and emotions, even when it's clearly time for action. Second, there's the plot. I can't cover too much to avoid giving away spoilers, but here's a glimpse. A disgraced government agent wants revenge and more: "He was going to control and rule the world." With unlikely events and the most bizarre of coincidences, it becomes so wildly outlandish that it risks parodying itself. The jockeys here eat large and guzzle beer; quite at odds with Dick Francis' jockeys who forever starve themselves to maintain their weight. I suspect that Dick has the right of it on this one.

If this book had maintained its starting momentum, it would have been a sure winner. Sadly, it finished out of the money.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Didn't want to put it down! March 23, 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Detective Holly Jennings, and her partner Chad, have picked up a confusing murder: two jockeys found with their legs broken, shot dead, with carrots stuck in their mouths. The case goes cold -- but soon another horse racing bigwig is found dead with a carrot in his mouth as well.

As the two police officers investigate, they are drawn deep in to not only horse racing itself, but the industry's home in Lexington, Kentucky. This is territory well-known to me as a former equestrian athlete, and I can tell you that author A.K. Alexander gets it right. She deals with racing's underbelly: performance enhancing drugs, painful treatments designed to make a fragile animal run faster ... all of it. She also looks at the people trying to improve the sport, and to rescue the horses themselves when their days on the track are done (Alexander's fictional Golden Hearts reminded me more than a little of the real-life Old Friends Equine Retirement facility).

There are twists and turns all over the place, and the "whodunnit" is revealed slowly through a series of clues that don't detract from the end at all -- because not even the villain is quite whom he seems to be.

Highly recommended for fans of racing and murder mysteries alike.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Two lovers--both promising young jockeys--are murdered. Their legs are broken, carrots are stuffed in their mouths, and a note left near their bodies, stuck to a racing form, says "sacrificial lambs". A racehorse owner--wealthy, at home in his well-secured mansion--is murdered. Something horrible has happened to his legs, a carrot is stuffed in his mouth, and a note left near his body, glued to a racing form, says "in the mouth of madness". A racehorse trainer--with a reputation for unethical, win-at-all-costs methods--is murdered. He has been tortured, a carrot is stuffed in his mouth, and an old score has apparently been settled.

San Diego homicide detective Holly Jennings, a trained CSI and widowed mother of a 10-year-old, lands this complex case. As she tracks the serial killer, and uncovers the facts that link the crimes, she must educate herself about the darker aspects of high-stakes horse racing and training. Ultimately, her investigation puts her own life at terrible risk.

In this novel, there is no shortage of interesting suspects/characters. (Some fairly memorable ones are Sheikh Farooq, who loves the horses he owns; Elena Purdue, owner/trainer of the great filly "Karma's Revenge"; and Jocque, the serial killer.) The story is told from many shifting viewpoints, and there are several continuing subplots that provide continuity and ultimately connect everything together. The surprising ending is a little far-fetched, but adequate. Anyone who loves horses and mysteries should enjoy this book, despite the brutality of the crimes.

What I didn't like about BLOOD AND ROSES is Holly's general vulnerability. All the men around her want to protect her, and sometimes she really needs protecting.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars fascinating and relevant for its currentness
Liked the book, especially the plot twists. The return of the former husband was a bit far-fetched, but all in all a good read
Published 13 hours ago by judeye
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it
Funny when u come across an author by accident. Then a few weeks later u have read all her books. Thoroughly enjoyed this book about serial killers and horses. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Anne
5.0 out of 5 stars blood and roses
a fantastic book - love Holly Jennings hope we see more - this one has so many twists and turns you will never figure it out before all is unfolded before you and then there is... Read more
Published 6 days ago by liketoread
5.0 out of 5 stars Blood and Roses review
It was refreshing to read a book about the racetrack written by someone who understands the terminology and what happens at the track. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Carol Hendrix
4.0 out of 5 stars Well developed mystery and likeable characters
This is the first book by Ms. Alexander I've read, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I don't know enough about horses and racing to know if everything she wrote was legitimate or not,... Read more
Published 14 days ago by Texaswomyn
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow
A thriller with characters I care about..long live Holly Brendon, Chad and yes Jack!! Keep dreaming, and writing and giving us stories we can't forget....
Published 16 days ago by remnant 0888
4.0 out of 5 stars Great and Fair View of Horse Racing, and Well Written Mystery
I loved that the book since it seemed to give a very fair view of horse racing. It presented the issues with horses being breed for speed and the associated likelihood of being... Read more
Published 23 days ago by Mountainhombre9
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read!!
Really could read these books forever-- always a great story little romance but plenty of mystery. I just always totally enjoy seeing anything new by A K Alexander!!
Published 1 month ago by glenna
4.0 out of 5 stars About horses
It ended up being a good story but at times it was slow moving. If you like stories about horses, you would like this book.
Published 2 months ago by J. A. Nichols
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid and entertaining
"Blood And Roses" by A.K. Alexander is a very good read, well-written and engaging. I can certainly recommend this one.
Published 2 months ago by burritobrother
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More About the Author

A.K. Alexander writes gritty thrillers that will have you looking over your shoulder. Alexander's thrillers have appeared on The Wall Street Journal's bestseller list and Amazon's Kindle Bestseller list.

When not writing thrillers as A.K. Alexander, the author also writes lighter mysteries and contemporary fiction as Michele Scott.

If not writing, she is busy with her family and their many animals.

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