When high school student Derrick Booker, the only black student at a posh Orange County high school, is accused of killing his white girlfriend, ex-college football hero and detective Jim Knighthorse is hired to dig a little deeper into the murder. It doesn't take long for Knighthorse to realize that not all is as it seems at tranquil Huntington High, from a band director who preys on the innocent to a vice-principal with a secret agenda of her own. Not to mention someone's hired a professional killer to keep Knighthorse permanently off the case.
As the investigation continues, Knighthorse's personal life is shattered by the discovery of new evidence relating to his mother's unsolved murder, a murder dating back 20 years. Reeling from the discovery, a determined Jim Knighthorse sets out to bring two killers to justice.
©2010 J.R. Rain (P)2012 J.R. Rain
"I read Dark Horse by J.R. Rain. He's the author of Moon Dance, that I reviewed last column. The author is a private investigator, and it shows; this is another fast moving and entertaining detective story. It is the first of a series, published by Lulu. Rain is surely destined for larger success, if he can get the right break; his fiction is fun reading." (Piers Anthony, New York Times best-selling author of A Spell for Chameleon and On A Pale Horse)
"I finished Dark Horse late last night. I enjoyed it immensely - very good story, J.R.! I really liked your dialogue, which kept me chuckling each time I sat down to read the book. Add great character and scene descriptions and a well-paced plot, and you've got a gripping story indeed. I can honestly say your book was as entertaining as anything I've ever read from Patricia Cornwell. I can easily see Dark Horse moving to the big screen!" (Aiden James, author of Plague of Coins and Deadly Night)
"Dark Horse is one of the best books I've read in a long time! A great classic detective story with a modern twist. Unique and interesting characters (I think I'm half in love with Jim Knighthorse now!), a great plot that kept me guessing until the end, and some of the funniest lines I've read anywhere. Rain does an amazing job of blending suspense, mystery and humor in this fantastic debut novel destined for the keeper shelf." (Gemma Halliday, author of Deadly Cool and Play Dead)
This was a really good book, I especially liked the character interaction.
There were a lot of plot twists that made it a very engaging read. I really enjoyed the surprise character and look forward to the next novel which I hope this character will be a part. Also enjoyed the main character and hero who was not too good to be true.
I listen as I commute everyday and travel for work.
I know that a lot of other reviewers are not fans of this character or his ego and self-love. I actually find that side of his character gives some humor to some very dark storylines. It helps relieve the tension of some of the content. The story in Dark Horse is very dark and so are some of the subplots but I didn’t find this book to overwhelming dark but some of the scenes are painful to picture.
One of the things I like about the story is the location, most stories I read take place in other parts of the country so this story was like traveling to a different place. The character of Jim Knighthorse is very flawed and different from other characters. He has a unique background with a strong sense of justice whether through the law or not. I liked the other characters including his best friend and his girlfriend. The author does a good job of incorporating all walks of life into the story between the very wealthy to the homeless.
The only thing I can say about the narrator’s performance is I was kind of expecting a lower voice for the character but it didn’t detract from the story and it was a good performance.
If I could I would rate this a 3.5. I might have given it a higher rating but it took me a while to warm up to the character. He's very self-centered and egotistical through a lot of the book. I also think some of the bad language could have been toned down just a little. Besides those points it was a good mystery with a surprise as to who the bad guy was.
The narrator was pretty good, even with the female voices.
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