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Dead Man's Touch [Large Print] [Paperback]

Kit Ehrman
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 32.95
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Book Description

Jan. 25 2004 Steve Cline Mysteries
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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Product Description

From 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.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"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, New York TImes

"With its sensitively drawn characters and enchanting horses with unique personalities, this is sure to be a contender for the winner's circle.” –Publishers Weekly

"Smooth prose surrounds the knowledgeable equine subject matter, while Steve’s psychological barriers provide ample subplot material. Recommended." –Library Journal

"Kit Ehrman has created a driven, principled character and puts him into situations where he must fight for the moral high ground…. Readers who love the excitement of the race will be thrilled with the arrival of this new addition to the field of mystery fiction." --The Denver Post

 

"Kit Ehrman, who gave us the well-received At Risk, has produced a second solid, diverting and apparently authentic equine mystery."  --Chicago Tribune


Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written. G June 2 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Horse information is well researched and accurate. Similar to Dick Francis but more enjoyable. More in depth horse material. Lots of action.
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5.0 out of 5 stars As good as the first one. Nov. 18 2013
By roya TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Steve returns and his adventures are still well worth reading. Although he is psychologically reeling from his last experience, he is still tough as nails. This 2nd installment is just as good as the first one. The insight to the life of racing horses was also very informative. A great mystery.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars exciting amateur sleuth Nov. 26 2003
Format:Hardcover
He saw a man executed and was nearly killed himself. Twenty-two years old Steve Cline has recovered but is still emotionally fragile and unable to return to his job at Foxdale Horse Farm. He is estranged from his wealthy and prominent family but when he learns that his father was killed, he returns home for the funeral. His angry and embittered brother Robert tells Steve that he was not biologically related to the individual he thought was his father.
When he confronts his mother, she admits that his biological father is racehorse trainer Kessler working out of Washington Park. When he finally tells Kessler who he is, the man tells him that he is glad to have a son. When he learns his father is having trouble with an unknown person who wants him to fix the races, Steve volunteers to go undercover to find the guilty parties. In the course of his inquiries, a co-worker is murdered and Steve comes within a pixel of losing his life too.
Kit Ehrman has a unique voice that makes DEAD MAN'S TOUCH an exciting amateur sleuth tale. The protagonist, rather young in physical years, has experienced so much that he comes across as a mature person so familiar with death that he realizes it can strike without warning at anytime. There is a lot of action in this straightforward mystery much of it dealing with a protagonist who refuses to stay down after being threatened and battered. DEAD MAN'S TOUCH is as good as the works of Dick Francis.
Harriet Klausner
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  86 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars exciting amateur sleuth Nov. 26 2003
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
He saw a man executed and was nearly killed himself. Twenty-two years old Steve Cline has recovered but is still emotionally fragile and unable to return to his job at Foxdale Horse Farm. He is estranged from his wealthy and prominent family but when he learns that his father was killed, he returns home for the funeral. His angry and embittered brother Robert tells Steve that he was not biologically related to the individual he thought was his father.
When he confronts his mother, she admits that his biological father is racehorse trainer Kessler working out of Washington Park. When he finally tells Kessler who he is, the man tells him that he is glad to have a son. When he learns his father is having trouble with an unknown person who wants him to fix the races, Steve volunteers to go undercover to find the guilty parties. In the course of his inquiries, a co-worker is murdered and Steve comes within a pixel of losing his life too.
Kit Ehrman has a unique voice that makes DEAD MAN'S TOUCH an exciting amateur sleuth tale. The protagonist, rather young in physical years, has experienced so much that he comes across as a mature person so familiar with death that he realizes it can strike without warning at anytime. There is a lot of action in this straightforward mystery much of it dealing with a protagonist who refuses to stay down after being threatened and battered. DEAD MAN'S TOUCH is as good as the works of Dick Francis.
Harriet Klausner
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD SECOND ENTRY IN THE SERIES March 22 2012
By drkhimxz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Readable follow-up in this horsey series. Our hero, Steve Cline, moves to another setting for another dose of murder, mayhem, danger and romance. It is well written and decently plotted not withstanding the tendency to make the hero appear more childish than his 22 years make likely. A bit more self control would keep him out of life-threatening situation; however, it would also reduce the action component, perhaps to the point of dullness. To allow the hero to escape from the dilemma of an unloving father, the author kills the old man off and provides a more stimulating relationship. This is a neat counter in the love game as the reader will find. For those who have dined off the rich wares of the late Dick Francis, this series may not be a complete replacement but it should be an enjoyable substitute.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read for Horse Mystery Lovers. July 18 2011
By Lynnie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have read two of these books on my Kindle now and find them exciting and interesting. I had read almost all of Dick Francis's books and now that he's gone, I've found Ehrman to be a fine continuation of the genre, American style.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another good book May 13 2012
By S. Rodriguez - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Another good story about Steve Cline. Not quite up to the first one, but still a good mystery. I really like the horsetrack/stables backdrop. Nice change with him at a racetrack instead of the riding stables. It was good to learn more about him and have his characer and background filled out. It is interesting to learn about what goes on at horse racing. I will keep reading this series, so far I am not disappointed.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Story - Too much blasphmy March 24 2012
By Beorge - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the story. Steve Cline takes a huge amount of punishment for what seems to be other peoples problems. And the background of stable management is very interesting.

I say a prayer each time I encounter a blasphemous word which breaks up the story line.

Overall a good read.
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