The dark and dirty underbelly of horse racing is exposed when a Baltimore cop goes to visit relatives in Florida.
Internal Affairs has been very interested in Fia McKee ever since she shot and killed the man who was choking Shyra Darnell, a hot walker at Pimlico who’s so afraid of someone that she refuses to answer any questions. When Fia’s beloved father, a racehorse trainer, was murdered five years earlier, Fia joined the police and has never given up on his case, which has now turned very cold. Put on leave, she answers a call for help from her brother, Patrick, whose wife has walked out and left him with a horse-crazy teen. Someone’s been slaughtering people’s horses for meat, and when Cody, her niece Jilly’s gelding, becomes a victim, Fia gets mad and plots to get even. The night of the gelding’s death, she meets a man named Zanin who runs the Protect the Animals League and is trying to stop the carnage. Zanin is sure the guilty party is a Cuban-American who lives in the dangerous and lawless area known as the C-Nine Basin, but no one’s been able to prove that he’s involved. Meantime, Fia learns that her problems back home may go away if she agrees to go undercover for the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau at Florida’s Gulfstream Park, where horses that shouldn’t be winning are suddenly showing amazing talent. Fia eases into a job as an exercise rider for an honest trainer while trying to discover what new, so far undetectable, drug is turning ordinary horses into superstars.
Hill (Racing from Evil, 2016, etc.) boasts a knowledge of horses and the very real problems in horse racing that fill this sound mystery with thrills and hair-raising action from first to last.