To read or not to read...

In the week leading up to Melbourne Cup, now is the time to read some suspense fiction- set in the horseracing world. If the lead character seems familiar, this is because this beloved character first appeared in a novel written by the author's late father back in 2006. 

 To read or to read, that is the question...
Read these opening paragraphs and you decide whether to keep reading the rest of the book!

"No." I said. "Not a chance." 
"But Sid, you must."
"Why must I?"
"For the good of racing."
It was a familar tactic. 
"I'm retired," I said. "I told you. I don't do that kind of thing anymore."
Sir Richard Stewart, currently chairman of the British Horseracing Authority, hadn't worked his way up from Saturday morning shelf stacker to become chief executive of the country's largest supermarket chain by taking no for an answer. 
"Come on Sid, " he said with a knowing smile "Everyone knows that Sid Halley is the best of the best." Sir Richard playfully punched my arm. "And you know you want to really." 
Did I?
It had been nearly six years since I had opted out of the private investigator business. Six years in which I had established myself as a moderately successful independent investor, dealing primarily in blue-chip stocks on the major markets, but also, with increasing frequency, bankrolling individual inventors who had good ideas but little or no cash. 
Six years of mostly stress- free living with no one trying to beat me up or worse. 
"No," I said again with finality. "I don't want to, really, not now, not ever."
I could tell Sir Richard wasn't  happy, not happy at all. 
"Sid," he said, drawling the word out for a couple of seconds, "can I tell you something in confidence?"
"Of course."
He leaned forward towards me as if he didn't want to be overheard, which was rather strange considering we were alone in  the living room of my Oxfordshire home. 
"I am seriously concerned that the whole future of our sport is at risk." He pursed his lips, raised his eyebrows and nodded at me as if emphazing what he had just said. "Racing only survives due to its integrity. Oh yeah, sure, everyone has stories of races being fixed or horses getting nobbled, but, overall, racing is very clean. If it wasn't, the public wouldn't have the confidence to bet, and then where would we be?"
I said nothing. 
"That's why we at the BHA invest so much time and money into our dope testing facilities and then punish any wrongdoers so harshly. We don't exactly enjoy taking away people's livelihoods, but we do want to deter others from trying."
I nodded at him. I knew all this. 
"So why all the panic?" I asked. 
"I am convinced that someone is beating the system-manipulating the results of  races. That's why we need you."

To keep reading this book, request it from the Library.