This is one of the author's early novels and the first one in the series about ex-jockey turned PI Sid Halley. This novel introduces the character, his past, his father-in-law, his work associates, etc. The first three novels about Halley, Odds Against, Whip Hand, and Come to Grief, can also be found in the combined omnibus edition, Win, Place, or Show. The novel is very good and has survived the test of time, i.e., it is still an interesting plot 40 years after it was written.
Sid Halley came from an impoverished background and had to leave school as a teenager. He was apprenticed as a jockey and by the time he was 18 her was a success. He made good investments and is also moderately wealthy. An accident ended his career as a jockey, and he has been employed, more or less, in a PI firm. Events lead him into a case involving an unscrupulous businessman who is trying to acquire racetrack property for personal profit. Like many businesses, the assets (in this case land) are undervalued in relation to the stock price, making a racetrack a takeover target.
There are some surprises as the story progresses. The novel deals with adult situations. There is little sexual content, mostly by reference, but considerable violence.