The wooden horseshoe of this title is a council table which symbolizes city government in a small but growing Texas town. Novelist Sanders has a fair gift of observation for character but almost none for writing novels that are novel. (Texan novelist Edwin Shrake's recent But Not For Love -- also published by Doubleday -- is infinitely more impressive as a representation of Texans). Hub of the council controversy is the fact that somebody, apparently a council member, is buying up property adjacent to a new cloverleaf exit proposed for the outskirts of town. The villain is known to the reader from the beginning, or rather a villainously heavy finger is pointed at exactly the right party. Will the councilmen, each of whom has a pet project to protect, reveal him or will self-interest outweigh justice? Each man also has personal problems. Dr. Travis McNiel, a minister's son, rejoins the church after being shaken by the death of the council's grand old patriarch. City manager David Hartmen has a drinking wife, a daughter who attempts suicide, and works too many hours. When it is discovered that the police are shaking down bar-owners, Travis and Hartman stand against the council to save the chief of police from dismissal or demotion on grounds of guilt by association...City government has drifted away from the Muses since it left Greece.