Through 10 Nov by Kit Ehrman
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About the book
This stirring first mystery is set in Maryland’s rich horse country where Steve Cline seems, at twenty-one, much too young to be in charge of a major stable. Seasoned by summers on a dude ranch, his skills and stamina are sorely tested when he’s hijacked early one morning along with some of the stable’s horses. His escape turns him into a killer’s target in an environment where a complex scheme develops and everyone, no matter how innocent, courts risks . . .
“It's amazing what horses can do for a mystery. Kit Ehrman's debut novel, AT RISK . . . reeks of authenticity, and the hunters and jumpers have personality to burn. When seven of these horses are stolen in the dead of night, Stephen Cline, the 21-year-old barn manager . . . in the honored tradition of a Dick Francis hero, vows to track down the thieves . . .” ~ The New York Times
Both horse lovers and crime fans who've never stepped into a stirrup will relish Ehrman's riveting debut, set on a Maryland horse farm. When his successful surgeon father disowns him after he drops out of college, 21-year-old Stephen Cline takes a job as barn manager of Foxdale Farm, which specializes in the training and boarding of thoroughbred jumpers. In the middle of a late February night, Steve visits the stable to medicate a sick horse only to stumble on a horse theft in progress. Haunted by the events of that night after barely escaping from being kidnapped and murdered, Steve resolves to track down the perpetrators before they find him. In spite of the warnings of state police detective James Ralston, he continues his search to unravel what becomes a suspenseful mystery, but not before he puts himself in grave peril. The cold, wet Maryland spring vividly turns to summer amid the smells of horses, hay and sawdust as the plot gallops forward. As a former groom, veterinary assistant and barn manager, Ehrman treads Dick Francis territory with a sure foot. From Steve's girl-crazy friend, Marty, to the motherly farm manager, Mrs. Hill, to the ruthless villains who leave more than one body in their wake, she has created a memorable cast. The sensitively drawn relationship between Steve and the alluring Rachel, a boarder at Foxdale, is one of the novel's highlights. With his youthful zeal and perseverance, Steve Cline makes a captivating hero and sleuth, one readers will be eager to see again.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the hardcover edition
“The smart money could make the unusually likable protagonist a favorite in the Francis Stakes.” ~ Kirkus
“At best, only a small fraction of first novels turn out to be first in a series (why assume that success for At Risk?) The overarching reason is that its author is thoughtful and clever, as well as skilled. Ehrman’s writing is unobtrusively crisp . . . The plot is intricate, intriguing, and solid in the best traditional style . . .” ~ The Drood Review
“At Risk by Kit Ehrman is suspense on steroids and one of the best debut novels to hit the crime literature racetrack since Dennis Lehane’s A Drink Before the War. Clear ample shelf space for a Steve Cline series because Ehrman, a real-life horse farmer, has hit for the literary trifecta.” ~ Andrew McAleer of Austin Layman’s Crimestalker Casebook
“Kit Ehrman’s AT RISK is for fans of Dick Francis and anyone who likes an edge of your seat, fun, page-turning whodunit.” ~Al Blanchard
“Fast-paced action throughout.” ~Midwest Book Review
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