Mysteries and intrigue come thick and fast in the world of racing. Dead Certainty by Glenis Wilson is another addition to this catalogue. The novel could have been written by the likes of Dick Francis (or his wife) as it exhibits the same style of writing. Another similarity is the fact that mystery also surrounds the society of racing, here too.
I'm not complaining about how Ms Wilson has written Dead Certainty but I'm not liking the racing theme. Many critics could see this as piggy-backing on the success of a best-selling author which would be a shame. The author should be viewed as someone new and exciting in their own right. Constant references to another best-selling writer in its reviews isn't really what any author wants to see. Another worrying thing for me, is that I was actually getting extremely confused in my head between Dead Certainty and Tip Off, a John Francome novel. Yes, yet another series of horse racing mysteries...
Perhaps this was due to the fact that I had only finished the latter novel recently; a matter of a few weeks. But, whatever the reason, this is not the desired reaction from your readers that you should be aiming for. Your book should be the one that sticks in people's minds. It should make a mark. Unfortunately, for Ms Wilson, Dick Francis' Bolt is the only book that does that for me in this particular genre.
Even though I am a lover of horses and mysteries, I often tend to avoid reading books just like these, anyway. I have an idea that the subject of racing is a contributory factor here. I'm just not liking it. There are so many other equine disciplines out there that it is a waste of an extensive market just to stick to one or two.
I can't fault the remaining aspects of the novel, though. Good development of characters with a variety of personalities and personal difficulties. Maybe, something to offset the lack of variety in the book's theme? Aside from everything I have said, this is a good book to read, plenty of action and you can't help root for the poor protagonist who seems to get it in the neck frequently. He appears to have more luck caring for his disabled sister than he does himself.