When top jockey Marcel Dessaint loses his racing licence, his whole world falls apart. Accused of deliberately pulling up healthy horses, Marcel is passed a verdict of ‘Gross Misconduct’ and forced to face the enmity of his peers. With a famous face and nowhere to hide in Chantilly, Marcel becomes an outcast in the only world he knows. With The Derby now out of his reach, he struggles to overcome his own self-doubt, while battling to uncover the truth behind the horses’ defeats and clear his name. As he gradually fears he may have been betrayed by one of his closest friends, he discovers all too late that it’s not just his licence on the line. Lives are at stake …All of which suggests that Ireland, a country with an honourable heritage in the Sport of Kings, has finally found its own Dick Francis. But lo! Here comes Irish Times’ horseracing journalist Brian O’Connor’s BLOODLINE, out of the Poolbeg stable, thundering up on the rails:
Liam Dee’s world is turned upside down when a young foreign groom is murdered at Bailey McFarlane’s stables on the Curragh. Liam, a champion steeplechase jockey, is initially both witness and suspect. However, shrewd police detective Diarmuid Yeats takes a gamble on his innocence and enlists his help in the hunt for the killer. This nightmare experience exacerbates the tensions in Liam’s life. He has been falling out of love with his job, his joy in racing relentlessly worn away by the struggle to keep the weight down on his six-foot frame. Is it time to quit? But McFarlane’s stables houses the brilliant Patrician, a potential Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, and Liam wants to be the jockey to get him first past the finish post in the race that matters most. With emotions at pressure point, Liam falls in love with the exotic blonde Ukrainian stable girl, Lara, leaving him in an even more vulnerable position than before. Then the killer strikes again and the race to the finish post is replaced by a race for survival . . . and there is no second place.So there you have it. A two-horse race with no clear favourite, and both contenders boasting a noble lineage. They’re under starter’s orders … and they’re off!