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Dark Horse Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 434 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (January 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380787709
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380787708
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,495,974 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

First novelist Richardson, a screenwriter and the son of California Senator H.L. Richardson, brings impressive credentials to the political thriller genre. Suave young corporate attorney Mitch Dutton is running for Congress in Texas against long-term Republican incumbent "Hurricane" Hammond. When Hammond dies on primary day, apparently of natural causes in a Virginia hunting accident, he is replaced by an unknown dark horse, Shakespeare McCann. "Shakes," as McCann calls himself, alternately beats up opponent Mitch in an alley and hands out free ice cream cones wrapped in red, white, and blue. He also relentlessly manipulates Mitch's wife, sets up the Dutton campaign again and again, and murders any friend or client of Dutton's who haplessly gets in his way. This roller-caster ride of a novel was bought by Ron Howard's production company, undoubtedly because it offers up one astonishing Machiavellian plot twist after another. Recommended.?Susan Zappia, Maricopa Cty. P.L., Phoenix
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Just as we're recovering from the recent election, Richardson presents a riveting tale that centers on a congressional election devoid of civility. At first glance, the dark horse here is the charming, sincere Mitch Dutton, who wins the Democratic primary in his Texas district but faces a race against the longtime Republican incumbent, George "Hurricane" Hammond, who never loses. Then the old Texan is found dead in the woods after being thrown from his horse during a foxhunt. Dutton is a shoo-in, the polls suggest, having won the admiration of once-jaded voters who are now swooning over a competent, eager, do-good politician. The real dark horse emerges in Shakespeare McCann, the new Republican nominee. Although Dutton swears to run a clean campaign, he gets dragged, kicking and screaming, into the mudslinging, with his family in tow. What transpires is a mysterious series of terrifying events that all but make Dutton drop out of the race. Richardson, son of a longtime California senator, knows how to weave a political thriller, stitching seam after seam of intrigue. Movie rights are already secured. Stock up. Mary Frances Wilkens --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Doug Richardson was born in Arcadia, California. The son of a career politician, Doug grew up outside Sacramento and inside the state Capitol. He used to talk his way into then- Governor Ronald Reagan's office, just to get a handful of jellybeans.
Doug left Northern California for Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California's School of Cinema. For as long as he could remember, Doug had wanted to be a movie director. But in pursuing his goal he discovered how movies are really made: in the writing.
After finishing college, Doug signed a two-year contract with Warner Brothers. In 1989 he garnered national attention when his spec screenplay was the first in Hollywood to sell for a million dollars. Doug's first feature film, the sequel to DIE HARD, DIE HARDER, was produced in 1990. He has since written and produced feature films including the box office smash BAD BOYS and, most recently, HOSTAGE. To date, Doug's features have grossed over 800 million dollars worldwide.
In 1997, Doug's debut novel, DARK HORSE, was published by Avon/Morrow in hardcover, followed two years later by his follow up, TRUE BELIEVERS.
Doug continues to write and develop for feature films and television.
He lives in Southern California with his wife, two children and four mutts.
You can email Doug at bydougrich@dougrichardson.com

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By adead_poet@hotmail.com on April 26, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was an easy read and highly entertaining. Unfortunately there is no credibility. The antics that take place here could never happen, the press would go crazy over a candidate with no past, the people seem too gullible, McCann never says anything of substance, and the death of Hammond...well, a reviewer below said it, there is no way he would have been out riding a horse instead of at campaign headquarters. It gets to be too much, but it still was highly entertaining.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 17, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It was intelligent, slick, and fast-paced. I couldn't believe the nerve of the Shakespeare McCann character! Even though I hated McCann, I could hardly wait to see what he would do next!!! I loved this book!! Thank you Mr. Richardson for your ability to provide characterizations and descriptions succinctly, yet still give the reader a clear picture of the events as they unfolded. You are a wonderful storyteller.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 2, 1997
Format: Hardcover
The intrigue was great and the plot unique. I could have used fewer graphic descriptions of blood and gore, myself. As a native Texas, about to return, I hope it is all very fictitious.

I think this is a guy's book and probably should be billed as one for those of us more fainthearted.
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Format: Kindle Edition
As an occasionally reluctant resident of Texas, I've seen some detestable behaviors from candidates for public office on both sides of the political spectrum. That's no different than elsewhere, though--mud-slinging, rancorous smear campaigns and character assassinations in lieu of focusing on real issues have become the norm today, as both Democrats and Republicans seem ideologically compelled to reject any considerations of what's best for the country in favor of their own selfish interests.

With that said, I sincerely hope no political campaign in American history was, or ever will be, as nasty as the fictional one waged between Democrat Mitchell Sutton and Republican Shakespeare McCann in the pages of Doug Richardson's "Dark Horse."

"Dark Horse" hooked me on the first page like a cow puncher lassoing a stray dogie and never turned me aloose. This is simply one of the most compelling, page-turningly readable, un-put-downable novels that I've read in many years. The characters are very well-defined, with natural-seeming, consistent attributes that enable the reader to distinguish among them easily. There are not too many of them to keep track of, unlike many other novels in which the reader can't tell the players apart without a scorecard. Most of the dialogue has the ring of truth to it, and the South Texas locations become as important as the characters and the plot thanks to the superb sense of time and place that Mr. Richardson conveys. Speaking of plot, hold onto your Stetson once you start into "Dark Horse." You won't be able to jump off of the non-stop roller coaster ride after you get on. I literally returned to it to devour as many pages as I could in my every spare waking moment, and I finished it in about three days.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jls-byl@ix.netcom.com on October 30, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Entertaining, but preposterous, novel about a run for a congressional seat in South Texas. The dark spirits of Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson, and especially Ross Perot permeate almost every page of the book.
Mitch Dutton, the sincere but slightly dense Democratic candidate who is playing the part of the biennial sacrificial lamb to longtime Republican Congressman George "Hurricane" Hammond, finds himself a surprising frontrunner for the seat after Hammond dies of a supposed heart attack after falling from a horse. Hammond's replacement is one Shakespeare McCann, who placed second in the primary and who promptly begins to campaign against poor Dutton by beating him up in an alley behind a restaurant.
McCann has a wonderful time personally running his mysterious come-from-nowhere campaign -- handing out vanilla ice cream imported from Costa Rica wrapped in red, white and blue napkins while engaging in blackmail (shaking down the Republican party for $100 grand), several murders, rape and various other campaign dirty tricks and activities. Dutton and his campaign managers, on the other hand, never quite see McCann coming and until the very end hardly put up a fight at all.
The book is by Doug Richardson, author of the screenplay for Die Hard II. One imagines the difficulty he had in removing his tongue from his cheek once the book was done. The only caveat I have with the book is that McCann is so over-the- top bad that my suspension of disbelief broke down a few times.
This is not a serious book about the state of politics in America. It is, however, a deeply twisted, dark and funny story about the lack of limits on ambition in society.
Read this for fun, not enlightenment -- it's a hoot! Be aware of graphic violence, sex, and an astonishing array of mean-spirited acts by one human being against another. [byl strother]
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 31, 1997
Format: Hardcover
One of the surest election outcomes is that of the reelection of Hurricane Hammond back to the Congress. There is no reason to believe that his Democratic opponent, reformer Mitch Dutton, has even the slightest of chance to pull off the upset of the century. However, everything suddenly changes when Hurricane, running unopposed to gain the Republican nod, dies in a hunting accident on Primary Day. The Republicans have no one to run against Mitch, who has abruptly become the front runner. Through a quirk in the election rules, a total unknown, Shakespeare McCann, steals the nomination.
Mitch plans to run a high campaign, discussing the relevant issues. What he and his campaign brain thrust do not understand is that their opponent will do anything, including murder, to become the next Congressman from Texas. Shakes attacks everyone related in any manner to Mitch. He uses every dirty trick known to politicians and several known to gangsters. By the time Mitch realizes that he faces a colossal evil, it may be to late as Shakes is closing in on stealing the election.
DARK HORSE is a fascinating, very refreshing political thriller that will excite fans of the genre. The story line is fast paced, and the villain is one the vilest and sneakiest characters to come along in a long time (or at least since the last election). In spite of the fact that Mitch seems like a lightweight, leaving readers rooting for Shakes to steal the election, Doug Richardson scribes an interesting tale.

Harriet Klausner
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