When police fail to solve the murder of a Guatemalan groom on the backside of Churchill Downs during the Kentucky Derby festival, the victim’s hotwalker son hires local private investigator Jim Guthrie to bring the killer to justice. In doing so, Guthrie uncovers other crimes including blackmail, extortion, and illegal drug use but still finds time to romance a seductive veterinarian. Several violent encounters occur during the investigation as the private eye uses a racetrack tip sheet to provoke the killer into making a mistake. Guthrie’s debut in Hotwalker is a fast-paced classic private detective mystery featuring a complex storyline, surprising twists, quirky characters, off-beat humor, and a vivid sense of place. The book is extremely topical, as well. Many characters are Central American immigrants who must live in fear of being deported by ICE. The plot also mirrors real-life crimes for which two top trainers were recently charged by prosecutors in New York.
PATE MERWIN both uses his head and longs for magic in resolving his questions about how-to-live meaningfully (and simply how to survive). Like Huck Finn, he lights out for the territory—thumbs his way with a faithful friend from midAmerica to the prairie, to the mountains, across the deserts, to the sea, San Francisco & Haight-Ashbury, after its heyday. His and ours is a country scarred by its original sins of both the deep past and the present: the treatment of African Americans, Native Americans, women, children, and all those who would speak peace to unwarranted foreign wars. And, what's more: structurally, this book is a two-layer cake of past and present--just like the lives we live, right? This honest, funny, and heartbreaking novel delivers everything a reader could wish for in the way of action, characters who are convincing and engaging and ideas worth pondering. Journeyman could well join the ranks of classic, always-need, must-have literature.
Hotwalker (2021) is Rick Neumayer’s second published novel following the debut of Journeyman. Rick has also published short fiction in many literary magazines, and three of his full-length Broadway-style musical collaborations have been produced. He co-edited River City Review literary magazine and has reviewed books for the Louisville Courier Journal. The Louisville native, resident, and Male High graduate has had a wide variety of experiences, including early work as a newspaper reporter and a thirty-year teaching career. After retiring in 2004, he began writing full-time while earning an MFA in creative writing at Spalding University. He also holds degrees from the University of Louisville (MA) and Western Kentucky University (BA).
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