In the fourth book in the Raleigh Harmon series, readers find the impulsive Raleigh struggling to recover from her last adventure, the one that resulted in her mother being admitted to a mental institution, her fiancé begging her to leave the FBI and to marry him, and her career being investigated. When Raleigh is assigned an undercover gig to discover who is fixing the bets at a horse track, Raleigh knows it’s her last chance to keep her job. What should be an easy case turns deadly for both the horses and Raleigh herself.
I wish I had read the first three books in the series…not because this one can’t stand alone, but because I love the characters and would have liked to see them grow from book one to book four. What could have been just a suspense (and an interesting one at that) becomes much more as Raleigh discovers who she is (and isn’t). Despite trying to cover her feelings with a tough exterior, what lies beneath comes out in her dealings with the terrifically written Jack, Madame, and Raleigh’s own mother. The characters are deep and flawed, which makes their gradual change a more compelling story than the mystery itself.
Full of twists told at a steady pace, the suspense of finding out who was behind the “horsenapping” and other crimes wasn’t my favorite part of the book. It was entertaining but often boggled down with science talk that slowed down the action. When the final twist was revealed, it seemed a little rushed. Although these two things would have normally bothered me enough to give up on a book/series, the excellent writing and amazing characters left me wanting more.
I received this book in exchange for my review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.