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Stacey, Lyndon - 'Murder in Mind'
Paperback: 424 pages (Jan. 2008) Publisher: Arrow Books Ltd ISBN: 0099487098

MURDER IN MIND is Lyndon Stacey's sixth book. If you like horse-racing, and a little murder mystery on the side then this is for you. Unfortunately, it wasn't for me. The main character, Matt, is a jockey. His friend, Jamie, who is also a jockey, has a fight with his girlfriend Sophie, and shortly afterwards Matt finds her dead body. Did Jamie kill her? Matt doesn't think so, and sets out to prove his innocence in between riding horses and taking part in lots of races.

He lives in Spinney cottage with his blond attractive girlfriend (of course) called Kendra. She doesn't work, but is the daughter of a wealthy social climbing businessman (Charles Brewer) who just happens to invest in racehorses, some of which Matt gets to ride. She has two older sisters and a younger brother called Deacon who seems to have dropped out of university, and appears to be carefully watched over by Kendra's parents, but we don't know why. They have a general security man (Niall Delafield) who seems to do part of the 'watching'. And into the pot, the dead Sophie just happens to be the niece of Lord Kenning, another wealthy racehorse owner, who may have had some sort of illicit liaison with Sophie.

Matt's sleuthing consists of talking to Sophie's flatmate and starting to suspect that Lord Kenning has something to do with her death. He hooks up with a reporter for a bit who writes a story in the newspaper that talks about Matt's quest for the real killer. Matt is warned off his 'sleuthing' by some thugs, but we never really find out why. Eventually, out of left field we discover the real killer, but the motive, or why it happened, is not really clear. Stacey then tries to make the ending exciting, by having Matt chased by a potential killer at night, over fields, but it was too late. The book is full of made up names of wealthy people, and their lifestyles, which were unconvincing. Matt wasn't a very good detective, and I'm afraid that there was a lack of tension, drama and interest and too much detail on horse-racing.

Michelle Peckham, England
October 2008

Details of the author's other books with links to reviews can be found on the Books page.
More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 26/10/2008 10:17