No one really notices that a fix may be in until Matt O’Connor, a Chicago-based columnist for a national racing newspaper, gets a call from Moe Kellman, a horse-owning acquaintance. Kellmans question for Matt: Was the death of ninety-two-year-old Bernard Glockner, Chicago’s oldest active bookmaker, suicide or murder? Glockner was Kellman’s late uncle and Kellman, a man not unfamiliar with the Chicago mob, wants Matt to check it out. Matt quickly comes to believe that the fate of the bookie is tied to a series of races whose outcomes have been manipulated. His quest is aided by horse trainer Maggie Collins and Dave Zimmer, a professional gambler known as The Fount for his reputation as an encyclopedic source of information. Eventually, going as far afield as Las Vegas and Madison, Wisconsin, they fix their sights on a brilliant sociopath. But why would this psycho have plotted a race-fixing scheme? Spiced with the kind of lively language that marked Blind Switch, the author’s debut novel (2004), Riders Down offers striking insights into the world of horse racing and the possibilities of its corruption.
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