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Fire Horse Hardcover – January 31, 1995


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 298 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1st edition (January 31, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449905969
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449905968
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,479,554 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Former champion jockey Shoemaker follows up his debut outing, Stalking Horse, with another compelling, intricately plotted tale of murder, greed and-of course-the world of thoroughbred racing. Coley Killebrew once again functions as narrator and sleuth; here the ex-jockey is asked by Johnny Rousseau, his Vegas-based co-owner of their L.A. restaurant, to shadow the daughter of Wilton Dresner, a right-wing rant-radio and TV star. Johnny, smitten with Dresner's daughter, is determined to know her reason for delaying their marriage. Coley's discoveries of a blackmail scheme and a murdered photographer lead him to a number of unsavory characters that include members of the mob, right-wing crazies and a somewhat mad scientist, and to an insurance fraud that could kill a number of expensive horses. Further complicating matters is his love for the statuesque Lea, daughter of Raymond Starbuck, a big-time PI who disapproves of the romance-until Coley and Lea come up against the bad guys in a heartpounding climax. Coley remains an appealing character, though,with Starbuck appearing seldom here, readers might wish for more of the latter's high-handedness that enlivened the first book. Once again displaying racetrack expertise to fine advantage, Shoemaker solidifies his position in the winner's circle.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Former champion jockey Bill Shoemaker, now the busy trainer of a large string of horses despite being confined to a wheelchair, has somehow found time to write his second superb racetrack thriller in a matter of months. As in Stalking Horse , Shoemaker's hero is banned rider and reluctant sleuth Coley Killebrew. Repaying a debt to his lovestruck partner in the Horse's Neck Bar and Grill, Coley agrees to tail the stunning daughter of an ultraconservative political commentator, only to be led into a web of fraud, blackmail and murder. Horses are being killed for insurance money, and so are snoops who learn too much about the scheme. Coley must expose the entire network of corruption before many more lives, including his own, are lost in a climactic burst of mayhem. Devotees of fast-paced, intricately plotted mysteries will find Shoemaker's latest offering immensely entertaining. Dennis Dodge

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 31, 1996
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Bill Shoemaker was one of my heroes years ago. As a child
growing up in Northern California and a lover of horses,
I naturally followed the exploits of "The Shoe", arguably the best
jockey of all time. Well, I can't yet claim that Shoemaker is
the best mystery author, but he does a good job in his
second novel, "Fire Horse".

Corey Killebrew is a retired jockey who left the track
after a suspicious loss in an important race. He's now a
restauranteur in "Bay City", partnered with a love-struck
Las Vegas casino owner who asks him, as a "favor", to
keep an eye on his latest flame; the spoiled daughter
of a despised (or beloved, depending on your politics) radio
and TV pundit. This seemingly innnocent request draws
Killebrew into a complex game of horse racing, blackmail,
fraud and, of course, murder.

The plotting is effective, although it stretches a bit thin
in a few places. The charcters are interesting and generally
well-drawn but at times stereotypical. The dialog needs work
in a few places (in others, though, it crackles). But,
Shoemaker's knowledge of racing and horses shines without
being obtrusive or pedantic -- it makes "Fire Horse"
believable and a real page-turner!

I'm a big fan of Dick Frances; Bill Shoemaker isn't quite up
to his level, but he's not too far away, either. If you
enjoy a good action mystery (that favors the action side),
you'll like "Fire Horse".
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