Duncan Claymore could have it all. He’s one of the country’s up and coming young jockeys and this season his sights are set on getting right to the top. He has the talent and the tenacity but he also has his demons and it’s these that threaten to overthrow his burning ambition.
Duncan was taught everything he knows by his father Charlie a former trainer whose career and reputation were destroyed when a series of bitter rivalries got out of hand. It ruined him and Charlie hasn’t been able to set foot on a racecourse since.
Now with his father’s health rapidly declining Duncan is desperate to beat the best and at the same time take down the men responsible for Charlie’s ruin. But can he do both or must he choose between his family and his future?
Taking the Fall is the debut novel from champion jockey A.P McCoy and I have to say when Graeme at Orion Books first contacted me to see if I was interested in reviewing, I was a little sceptical. I mean, horses and horse racing just aren’t my thing (apart from maybe taking part in a Grand National sweepstake that’s as far as my interest goes), but I thought, hey it’s a thriller give it a go.
The book revolves around Duncan plotting revenge on his Dad’s enemies and it’s quite honourable that he’s out to avenge his father’s disgrace. For the most part it’s quite believable, well calculated, devious and quite racy! At the start, Duncan comes across as a bit of a cad, playing Lorna for what he could get but you do see him develop through the book – I’m not quite sure I find their ending totally believable being so young but hey ho this is fiction and after a happy ending.
It is quite heavy on the racing scene with a lot of descriptive text on the races and procedures etc. Others may like this but it didn’t really interest me unfortunately. Also, I didn’t feel it lived up to it’s dark thriller billing. There wasn’t anything really dark or thrilling about it and even the climatic end I didn’t feel had enough impact to really wow me.
Overall it’s an entertaining read that is a definite must if you love horses and racing!