Dead Heat (A Harry Radcliffe Mystery) by Glenis Wilson
|Dead Heat (A Harry Radcliffe Mystery) by Glenis Wilson|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: The fourth book in the Harry Radcliffe series reads fairly well as a standalone, but would seem to contain spoilers for at least one earlier book in the series. An enjoyable easy read.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 256||Date: December 2018|
|Publisher: Severn House|
|External links: Author's website|
Of course it wasn't champion jackey Harry Radcliffe's fault, but that didn't stop him feeling guilty. His attempts to solve the murder of prostitute Alice Goode had left his estranged wife, Annabel and her partner, Sir Jeffrey in danger and it was Harry who had urged them to get away as quickly as possible for the sake of themselves and their unborn child. It would be quite a while before he woke in hospital to find that Jeffrey and Annabel had been involved in a serious car accident. It looked as though Jeffrey would be in a wheelchair for life and Annabel had lost the baby. On top of that there was horsebox driver John Dunston's apparent suicide.
It was at John Dunston's funeral that Harry was handed a letter from the dead man and suddenly what everyone had accepted as suicide was cast in doubt. Harry was to collect a package from Dunston's solicitor: this, he was told, contained the only evidence as to what had happened. Radcliffe was reluctant to get involved in another murder investigation - he was behind in the jockeys' championship and needed to get more wins under his belt if he was to stand a chance of retaining the title - but gradually he was drawn into everyone else's affairs. Increasingly he found that what at first appeared to be a series of individual problems were, in fact, connected, and led back to one man. But who was he?
Glenis Wilson gives a couple of nods to the man who inspired her Harry Radcliffe mysteries, the late great Dick Francis, and the story is very reminiscent of his early books. If you've read the last book in the Harry Radcliffe series - Dead Reckoning you'll probably find it a great deal easier to work out what is happening than I did. If you haven't read Dead Reckoning then I suspect that you are going to find that there are spoilers for this and possibly other titles in the series. As you'll have gathered, I haven't read any of the earlier books.
The style of the book is very much from an earlier time and it was only mentions of smoking bans in pubs that convinced me that this didn't come from the eighties, but once I got into the book it was an easy and fast read. Wilson obviously has sound knowledge of the racing world and she brings it to life effectively. Her characterisation is well done and although one or two of the relationships seemed a little implausible I was happy to suspend disbelief. I hadn't worked out the name of the killer and the denouement was well done. It's not one of the great mystery books, but it was an engaging read for that rather dull time between Christmas and New Year.
I'd like to thank the publishers for making a copy available to the Bookbag.
My current favourite for horse-racing based crime is Felix Francis, son of Dick.
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You can read more book reviews or buy Dead Heat (A Harry Radcliffe Mystery) by Glenis Wilson at Amazon.com.
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