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HOT SEAT by Simon Wood


by Simon Wood

Pub Date: July 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-78029-023-2
Publisher: Creme de la Crime

A second case for British race car driver Aidy Westlake reads like a carbon copy of his first (Did Not Finish, 2011), with heat indiscriminatingly applied.

His nomination as Pit Lane magazine’s Young Driver of the Year has catapulted Aidy from the Formula One circuit to the European Saloon Car Championship. Richard Ragsdale, his new boss at Ragged Racing, has paired Aidy with ESCC champ Kurt Haulk and sung his praises to the world. His presentation at Pit Lane’s Racecar Show and Exhibition at Earls Court is a night to treasure—until the departing Aidy stumbles over the form of mechanic Jason Gates, dying from a cut throat. From this point on, Aidy’s troubles rapidly multiply. DI Joan Huston makes it plain that she considers Aidy her top suspect in the killing. The following day he’s kidnapped by henchman Dominic Crichlow, bound and hooded, and taken to Jason’s brother Andrew, a loan shark who accuses Aidy of the murder and then demands that he unmask the real culprit if he wants to keep his grandfather, classic-car restorer Steve Westlake, healthy. An angry driver on the Runnymede roundabout nearly collides with Steve, then tells the local police that he crashed into her car. En route to deliver a sponsor’s car to Munich, Aidy gets picked up in France by cops who find cocaine in the vehicle and gets blackmailed into spying on Ragsdale’s operation. And that’s before the sponsor’s car gets stolen. It’s easy to see why Ragsdale tells his new employee: “You have fantastic talent for calamity.”

Somewhere along the line Jason’s killer gets brought to book. But it’s much more entertaining to watch Aidy get into one jam after the next. His laps around the racetrack must provide the most relaxing hours of his life.