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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Sting in the Tail: Book One, The Rocket Series is a novel of suspense written by Chris Dyer. Mike’s future had never seemed so uncertain as that morning. He had always enjoyed a cordial relationship with the feed and grain merchants he had always done business with, but now the rumors of his failing enterprise made it hard to face the formerly friendly merchants. Mike paid for a fraction of what he’d normally be purchasing with what little remained of his money -- in cash -- and he ignored the store clerk’s comment that the accounting department needed to speak with him. Mike’s temper often got the better of him, but now he seemed to be barely able to keep it under control. He was a gifted horse trainer whose ability to communicate with his equine charges was instinctive and uncanny. Everything had been going just fine until Mr. Malek walked into his life. Malek had proposed purchasing new horses with Mike’s help and wanted Mike to manage the twelve horses he currently had. Mike was initially thrilled by the prospect. But Malek was a cheat who had burned other trainers before. He failed to pay his fees, took his horses out of Mike’s stables when Mike was away, and left him out of pocket for the thousands Mike had spent for their upkeep. Aside from his longtime girlfriend, Anne, and dog, Jody, Mike was feeling completely desolated and out of luck until he got a phone call. The caller’s name was John Cullen, and he mentioned having read one of Mike’s articles in the local paper. He had a proposition to make to him regarding some spare funds John planned on investing in a horse. While wary, Mike couldn’t help but be intrigued. He arranged for credit at the local pub and waited to hear what the man had to say.
Chris Dyer’s novel of suspense, Sting in the Tail: Book One, The Rocket Series, is written by an author who loves and knows horses, I suspect, equally as well as his fiery tempered hero, Mike Willett does, and that intense connection shines forth in every part of this exciting and well-written debut novel. I’m a long-time fan of Dick Francis’ Sid Halley racing mystery series, and was thrilled to discover a kindred sense of excitement and enthusiasm emanating from this compelling tale about horses, trainers and horse-racing. Dyers’ characters are finely crafted, especially Mike, his business partner and best friend, John Cullen, and their romantic interests, Ann and Alice, but the real star of this book is Rocket, the fabulously talented and eccentric horse that owner John Cullen is convinced will win the Derby. Sting in the Tail is a grand story that had me quite happily entranced until I had turned the last page. I’m thrilled to see there are future books planned in The Rocket Series and am looking forward to reading each of them. Sting in the Tail: Book One, The Rocket Series is most highly recommended.