Dead Man's Touch / Edition 1

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Overview

What do you do when everything you've held to be true, when your entire life, in fact, turns out to be a lie? Do you run away? Start over? Create a new truth? This is the dilemma faced by what twenty-two-year old Stephen Cline. Bruised in body and psyche from his adventures in At Risk, Steve gets another blow in Dead Man's Touch, the sudden death of his estranged father in an automobile accident. At the funeral, Steve's disgruntled older brother calls him a bastard—and means it. Literally. Steve, he reveals, is the product of an affair. Confronting his socialite mother, Steve learns that his real father is a horse trainer, Christopher J. Kessler.

Curiosity gets the best of Steve, who's on leave from his job at Foxdale stables, so he heads for the Maryland track where he can find Kessler. The trainer soon notices that Steve is shadowing him and accuses Steve of working for a group of men intent on pressuring him to throw select races in a lucrative race-fixing scam. When Kessler learns that he's a father and Steve is his son, he recruits Steve to work undercover at his training barn to thwart the fix by discovering who's been doping the most promising horses.

As Steve settles in, he gets caught up in the unique lifestyle inherent to the backside. Everyone who works there lives and breathes it—the hopes and the dreams along with the shattering disappointments—until the work itself becomes a way of life. For a man recovering his health, and his courage after an earlier brush with the kind of toughs who can make a life with horses a nightmare, the backside is an inspiration.

But it is not a life without peril — some men are willing to do anything to get the righthorse under the wire first. Anything from threats to violence to murder. As Steve puts pressure on the bad guys, a young woman is found dead in a horse's stall, and Steve becomes the prime suspect in her murder. He must now discover the ringleader's identity to keep from being put in jail, or worse, in the ground.

"The smart money could make the unusually likable protagonist a favorite in the Francis Stakes" said Kirkus Reviews of Steve Cline's first appearance in 2002's At Risk, the start of a promising career for him and for author Kit Ehrman. Publishers Weekly adds: "Both horse lovers and crime fans who've never stepped into a stirrup will relish Ehrman's riveting debut."

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times
Ehrman, who has worked at show barns and breeding farms, strikes a solid claim to this gritty territory with another heels-up thriller that takes up where Dick Francis left off. In the barn. — Marilyn Stasio
Publishers Weekly
Still recovering from the physical and psychological bruises he received in his first outing, At Risk (2002), 22-year-old Steve Cline, barn manager of a Maryland horse farm, faces more trauma when his estranged father dies in a car accident in this chilling sequel from Ehrman. At the father's funeral, Steven learns from his brother that he's not the son of the man in the coffin, but rather the product of an affair. When Steve confronts his socialite mother, she confesses that his real father is horse trainer Christopher J. Kessler. Curious, Steve heads for the Maryland track to observe him until Kessler becomes suspicious and accuses Steve of being involved with the people who are pressuring him to throw races. When he learns that Steve is his son, Kessler hires him to work undercover at his training barn to find out who's been drugging his most prized horses. With the determination, bravado and resilience of the young, Steve begins an investigation that will lead to two murders. From the labor-intensive work in the oppressive heat of a Maryland summer to the cockroach-infested living quarters of the help, Ehrman creates an authentic and vivid picture of the reality behind the glamour of the races. The bad guys may be a bit too obvious, but with its sensitively drawn characters and enchanting horses with unique personalities, this is sure to be a contender for the winner's circle. (Nov. 3) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
While recovering from an encounter with criminals (At Risk), Foxdale Stable's Steve Cline abruptly learns that his long-estranged and recently deceased father was not his biological father. Steve locates his real dad, who also works with horses, then goes undercover to find out who has been trying to coerce the man into throwing horse races. When two thugs threaten to rape his newly found half-sister, Steve really gets riled-but not nearly so much as when he's accused of a subsequent horse-stable murder. Smooth prose surrounds the knowledgeable equine subject matter, while Steve's psychological barriers provide ample subplot material. Recommended. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590580905
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
  • Publication date: 11/15/2003
  • Series: Steve Cline Series
  • Edition description: Large Type
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 482
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Meet the Author

Kit Ehrman has worked at show barns and breeding farms in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Visit the author's website at www.kitehrman.com

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Table of Contents

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 7, 2012

    Highly recommended

    Kit Ehrman is nor of those great Arthors that always come up with another very good book! One that while reading makes you so interested in Ted reading, you never want to stop! Great books! You'll love these!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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