“Here’s a new heroine after my own heart. Plan to stay up all night with this one.” — Fern Michaels, #1 New York Timesbestselling author
When horse trainer Annie Carson rescues a beautiful thoroughbred from a roadside rollover, she knows the horse is lucky to be alive…unlike the driver. After rehabilitating the injured animal at her Carson Stables ranch, Annie delivers the horse to Hilda Colbert–the thoroughbred’s neurotic and controlling owner–only to find she’s been permanently put out to pasture. Two deaths in three days is unheard of in the small Olympic Peninsula county, and Annie decides to start sniffing around. She’s confident she can track down a killer…but she may not know how ruthless this killer really is… (Goodreads)
Annie Carson is part of a search and rescue team for large animals. She helps save them and rehabilitate them. When she is called out to help a horse after being involved in an accident while being transported, she is surprised to hear that the man hauling the horse is dead. She is even more surprised to find the horse’s owner dead when she goes to return the horse. Murders do not happen in her community, and two in such a short time is unbelievable. Whether she wants to be or not, she is involved in this horror and knows she has to help figure out who the killer is. But can she do it before the time, and her life, are over?
The characters are well developed, well rounded and three dimensional. I really enjoyed reading about how much Annie loved animals, especially her horses, donkey and dog. She seems to be more of animal person than a people person, which I can relate to. She is a hard worker and takes her job as a horse trainer very seriously. I enjoyed the bickering and banter between her and Dan, the local sheriff, and her friend. They did not always see eye to eye about things, but each knew the other had their backs. I thought Annie’s sister, Lavender, was quirky and strange and I loved that. I enjoyed reading the interaction between the two. I also enjoyed all the secondary characters and felt they added a lot to the story.
The mystery is carried on well throughout the entire book. There were enough suspects, clues, twists and turns that I could not pinpoint the killer until it was revealed at the end. I like when that happens. There was a lot of tension and suspense and I was pulled into the book right from the beginning. I wanted to keep swiping pages as fast as I could to see what would happen next.
The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy read. The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and much of the time I felt like I was right there, watching all the action taking place and hearing the horses neighing.
Since I know nothing about horses, sometimes I felt a little lost when it came to some of the terminology used when describing actions that Annie was performing. I would have enjoyed a glossary at the beginning or back of the book so I could have learned what some of the terms meant. That is only my opinion and others may not agree with me.
One thing that I found a bit unbelievable is how fast Annie feel for one of the murder suspects. It seemed that as soon as she saw this particular person, she was smitten. That just seemed much too quickly for me and took away some of the credibility for me. Again, this is only my opinion and other readers may not agree with me.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I am looking forward to reading the next one in the series. I thought the mystery was expertly plotted and the tension was almost palpable in places. I would definitely recommend this book to other readers.