Full Mortality

Full Mortality

4.7 4
by Sasscer Hill
Jockey Nikki Latrelle gets the chance of a lifetime -- to ride the favorite in a stakes race -- only to have her dream destroyed when a mysterious intruder kills her mount the night before the race. Evil people are working at Maryland's Laurel Park race track, and when Nikki stumbles over the body of a gunshot victim, she quickly becomes the prime suspect in a murder


Jockey Nikki Latrelle gets the chance of a lifetime -- to ride the favorite in a stakes race -- only to have her dream destroyed when a mysterious intruder kills her mount the night before the race. Evil people are working at Maryland's Laurel Park race track, and when Nikki stumbles over the body of a gunshot victim, she quickly becomes the prime suspect in a murder case. Framed and facing a possible murder rap, Nikki is ruled-off the track.

Even deprived of job and income, she cannot abandon a mistreated, ill-tempered racehorse doomed to the slaughter house. Nikki and the filly wind up at a seedy stable with a motley group of felons, drunks, and drug-addicts. With unexpected help from a fashion-conscious wholesale meat-seller, a recovering addict, and an ancient groom, Nicky follows a crooked trail of insurance scam and betting fraud. But with the odds against her, can she clear her name -- and put the real criminals behind bars?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Jockey and breeder Hill's fiction debut, the first in a new horse-racing mystery series set in Maryland, finishes several lengths behind the work of Dick Francis. Nikki Latrelle, who overcame a horrific childhood to land steady work as a jockey, loses her chance at the big time after the horse she was set to ride in an important race dies suddenly. Her bad luck continues when her next horse, which she actually rides in a race, has to be put down as the result of an accident caused by Dennis O' Brien, another jockey. She's on the spot again when she stumbles across a third dead horse, right next to O'Brien's murdered corpse. Stock plot elements include threats to Latrelle's safety and a possible romance. Despite her obvious knowledge of the turf, Hill fails to match Francis's facility at making the prosaic details of horse-racing interesting to the lay reader.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine
Latrelle, compelled to visit her upcoming stakes mount Gilded Cage late one night at Laurel Park, finds the mare dead in her stall. Other equine and human deaths follow. First-time novelist Hill, herself a Maryland horse breeder, is a genuine find, writing smooth and vivid descriptive prose about racetrack characters and backstretch ambience that reek authenticity. Familiar plot elements are gracefully handled, including that old romantic-suspense conundrum: which of the attractive but mysterious males is the good guy and which the villain?--(Jon L. Breen)
Mystery Scene Magazine
The gritty, exciting Full Mortality by Sasscer Hill (Wildside Press, $13.95), is set on Maryland race tracks, where protagonist Nikki Latrelle is a female jockey attempting to survive in a man�s world. And a rough world it is, too. Nikki�s world is as dirty as it is glamorous, packed with physical violence, betting scams, and insurance rip-offs, where horses and humans often pay the ultimate price. Simply because of her gender, the gutsy Nikki is so loathed by some male jockeys that one engineers an on-track accident that kills her horse and injures her. When the jockey is later found murdered, Nikki becomes the main suspect and is warned off the track, which dries up her income. Now she can�t even make her rent, let alone pay the board bill for the horse she rescued from a slaughterhouse. To keep body and soul together, she takes a job at another stable, only to find herself surrounded by drug addicts and felons, and other horses headed to the glue factory. Determined to win back her place at her home track, she starts digging into the jockey�s death. In between post calls and pay outs, we learn about the blood beneath the glitter, the hand-to-mouth existence that most jockeys endure. Mortality is a thrilling, eye-opening read written by a former steeplechase jockey who now breeds racehorses. Hill knows what she�s writing about. --(Betty Webb)

Product Details

Wildside Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.41(d)

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Full Mortality 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
kayek1 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. Sasscer Hill obviously knows her way around a race track. I found that her characters were believable. Nikki has lots of personality and is someone that I would really like to know. Her ill-tempered, cranky mare turns out to actually have a simple problem that can be fixed, and made working her a lot better. The backside of any racetrack has most of the people she wrote about. I'm looking forward to her next book.
Rubrica More than 1 year ago
Anyone who likes Janet Evanovick will love Sasscer Hill. Hill writes with the same easy fun style; her heroine, Nikki Latrelle is daring and spunky; and each chapter of "Full Mortality" ends with a punch, making you want to read on. You don't have to know anything about horses or the horseracing world to enjoy this book. Hill always explains what's going on in an easygoing way that doesn't break the momentum of the book, but, rather, gives you a glimpse into a fascinating new world. "Full Mortality" makes for a great easy escapist read (it can be read in a day) and you finish it feeling like you learned something about another way of life from a skilled author who knows what they're talking about. On the other hand, if you do know a lot about horses, you'll enjoy all the detail Hill gives in describing the horses and the stables along the backstretch of the racetrack, as Hill really captures the world you love. So, there's something for everyone, horsey-people and non-horsey-people alike!
BetTheDream More than 1 year ago
"Nikki is one of the most appealing fictional characters I've ever met. You are rooting for her every inch of the way. The descriptions of backstretch life are enchanting." - Lucy Acton, Editor, Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred. "If you like the work of Dick Francis or Sue Grafton, you will like Sasscer Hill. With a true insider's knowledge of horse racing, Hill brings us Nikki Latrelle, a young jockey placed in harm's way who finds the courage to fight the odds and the heart to race for her dreams." - Mike Battaglia, NBC racing analyst and TV host, veteran track announcer, and "morning line" odds maker for the Kentucky Derby. "I thoroughly enjoyed Full Mortality -- the pages fly by, the characters are vivid, and Hill captures life on the backstretch perfectly." - Charlsie Cantey, former Maryland trainer, and racing analyst for ESPN, ABC, CBS and NBC. Sasscer Hill has written an engaging, fast paced horseracing novel that will remind you why you loved Dick Francis so much. The characters are well crafted and the dialog is tight and real. Full Mortality takes you to the darker side of thoroughbred racing, where just staying in the game is a daily struggle. You will cheer for Nikki Latrelle. STEVE O'BRIEN, Washington D.C. "If Dick Francis and Janet Evanovich had a daughter, it would be Sasscer Hill. What a fun read!" -- Crystal Kimball, Publisher, The Equiery. "FULL MORTALITY arrived yesterday. My husband (whom I have NEVER seen read a book before) has not put it down long enough for me to even take a peek at it!" Marlene Gorman 7/21/10 OMG!! I'm almost done with your book......LOVE THE BOOK and can NOT put it down. When's the next one coming out? :) -Aimee Rose KellyJuly 16, 2010