- Reviewed by David M. Kinchen
Growing old ain’t for sissies — something I can vouch for myself as I approach my middle 70s — but for 62-year old jockey Vic Deveaux in Cindy McDonald’s “Dangerous Deception” (Acorn Book Services, 216 pages, $13.99, $2.99 Kindle edition) the end of his glory days as a winning jockey at Westwood Thoroughbred Farm arrive after a training accident and he goes off the deep end in a criminal conspiracy that betrays his relationship with West family patriarch Eric West, who’s beginning to feel the effects of aging himself at 55.
Eric is about to offer the veteran jockey another position at Westwood, when Deveaux storms off, joining forces with two greedy stable hands in a hastily concocted plot to kidnap West’s youngest son Shane for a $500,000 ransom.
Talk about a bunch of losers! Deveaux joins forces with psychotic Martin Krebs and clueless Carlos Rivera, who decide to hide twenty-something Shane West in an abandoned mansion owned by late independent horror movie director Salvador Valentine, and — unbeknownst to everybody — still inhabited by his elderly daughter Luzertta. The mansion is the meeting place of the local motorcycle gang, the Nomads. The Nomads are trying to outdo the more famous California gangs Hells Angels and Mongols in violence and criminal activity. One of the local law enforcement officers, Jack Haliday, has infiltrated the Nomads, who deal in illegal firearms and drugs.
When Vic discovers that Krebs, who has been fired for slacking by Shane, plans to kill him, he starts getting second thoughts. He’s willing to betray his good friend, Eric, but he doesn’t want to harm Shane, let alone murder him. But can he do anything with the revenge-seeking Krebs in charge? The kidnap plot quickly involves Mike West, Shane’s older brother, and Kate West, their sister.
For a relatively short book, “Dangerous Deception” is packed with characters and subplots, but it’s such a page-turner that I read it in one sitting.
It’s the third and latest installment in author McDonald’s Unbridled Series, which chronicles the lives and turmoils of the West family, who successfully run a Thoroughbred horse training business in Rosemount, PA, near the Keystone Downs Thoroughbred Racetrack.
Cindy McDonald’s life whirled around a song and a dance for 26 years: She was a professional dancer/choreographer for most of her adult life and never gave much thought to a writing career until 2005. Inexplicitly, she felt drawn to my computer to write about things she had experienced (greatly exaggerated upon of course) with her husband’s Thoroughbreds and the happenings at the racetrack.
One may ask why she didn’t choose to write about her experiences with dance. When asked, Cindy offers a sly smile and explains that life at the racetrack was more…racy. “The drama is outrageous—not that dancers don’t know how to create drama,” Cindy says, “believe me, they do but race trackers just seem to get more down and dirty with it which makes great story telling—great fiction.”
In May of 2011, Cindy took the big leap and exchanged her dancin’ shoes for a laptop. She retired from dance. “It was a scary proposition,” she confesses. “I was terrified, but I had the full support of my husband, Saint Bill. It has been a huge change for me. I went from dancing hard five hours a night to sitting in front of a computer.” Does she miss her dance? “Sometimes I do,” Cindy admits, “I miss my students. I miss choreographing musicals, but I love my books and I love sharing them with my readers.”
To read excerpts from future books, view book trailers, and keep up with everything that is Unbridled, visit Cindy’s website at: www.cindymcwriter.com
About the author
Cindy McDonald was born and raised in the Pittsburgh, Pa area. For 26 years she was a professional choreographer,she taught ballet, jazz, and tap. During that time she choregraphed many musicals and an opera for the Pittsburgh Savoyards. Most recently she has retired to write her novels. She resides with her husband on their Thoroughbred farm known as Fly By Night Stables in Hookstown, PA, in Beaver County, near Pittsburgh.To learn more about her book series and to read excerpts from her upcoming books, please visit her website: www.cindymcwriter.com