The Significant Seven
Poisoned Pen, Apr 1 2010, $24.95
In Chicago FBI agents Karen Engel and Damon Tirabassi ask Jack Doyle to help them work a cruel case of animal brutality to fix races at nearby Heartland Downs. They explain a new form of “sponging” has occurred in which a sponge placed in a horse’s nasal passage to cut off half of the oxygen flow prevents an odds on favorite from running a solid race. Though they do not have his lower anatomy like they did when they used him before, Jack agrees to go undercover at Heartland.
Back in 2002, The Significant Seven, who met as students at the U of Wisconsin three decades earlier, won the Pick Six and use their winnings to buy racing horses. They have local success thanks to Badger Express. As Jack is undercover at Heartland, professional killers are assassinating the Significant Seven one at a time, but supplement their hit list with Jack whose investigation crosses over.
This is an exhilarating thriller as Jack works a cruelty to animals betting fix case, which leads him to a serial killer investigation. The story line is faster than Secretariat ran the Belmont as Jack finds himself in several Close Call predicaments. Mystery fans especially those who enjoy the Sport of Kings will appreciate this entry and the series as John McEvoy enhances the whodunit with horse racing tales.