A breakneck-paced thriller set in the world of horse racing, Dark Horse is like Dick Francis on steroids. Horse breeder Coke McCallister (!) had hoped that new horse Shameless would be his ticket back to the top, but when Coke dies his daughter Dakota finds herself plunged into a dangerous game with a killer.
Dark Horse isn’t the most surprising or original book, but it’s an extremely effective filler. The characters are memorable and the horse racing background makes everything feel a little different from the genre’s usual patch. Dakota is an effective lead character and should earn the sympathies of even the most hard-hearted reader, and the pace is mostly spot-on – barring a few moments where it tends to get bogged down in detail.
The only thing I’d really change about Dark Horse is that while J. Carson Black certainly needed to ‘set the scene’ and immerse the reader in the unfamiliar (to most) world of horse racing, once or twice I felt that I was getting a little too much information. Still, that’s a relatively modest complaint and another reader would probably lap up the detail, colour and information. A very good thriller.
Star rating for Dark Horse: 4 stars.
> Available from Amazon.
> Rating system: 5 stars (excellent); 4 stars (very good); 3 stars (good); 2 stars (fairly good); 1 star (bad); 0 stars (awful).