Oh Steve, how I adore you!
You all heard me rave about Elijah's Coin, now I get to rave about Bullet Work. O'Brien is probably my favorite new author of the year. His writing sucks you in, regardless of the material. The characters are heartfelt and true. Best of all, there's a life moral in each work of art he creates that makes your subconscious sit up and take notice. Steve produces an entertaining read and uses it to help you change your life for the better. I can't wait until he publishes more. Get busy, Steve!
In Bullet Work, we're on the race track circuit. Our main character is Dan, an owner as well as lawyer. Someone is attacking horses in the backyard and charging $20 per head (horse head, that is) for 'protection'. Those that don't pay the fee, are winding up with injured and dead horses. When Dan's horse and his friend are attacked, he decides it's time to step up and do something about the problem.
I hate horses. I'm terrified of them because they have no soul. Feel free to argue with me! Everyone does! I know (knew) absolutely nothing about horse racing or betting or the tracks or anything of that ilk. I'm not a cowgirl at heart. None of that mattered. I was sucked into the horse racing world and became a part of it, and I didn't even fight it. I was right there brushing down horses and cheering them on. Not being a fan of horses didn't change how I feel about this book at all. I think most horse lovers would be even more drawn to this book than I am.
You all know that I'm especially tough on mystery books. I hate when I figure out who the culprit is before the characters and if the ride isn't interesting enough, then I don't even care. As expected, Steve surpassed my expectations. Dan and I were right in sync. I figured it out at almost the exact same moment he did and waited right along with him until we had the proof. The ride was definitely interesting enough. Even if I hadn't had the mystery to keep me busy, the background kept me enthralled.
Normally, I don't like to pick out characters and zoom in on them, but I can't help it here. There's a character named AJ. He's a sweet boy of about 20 that some of the other guys bully. AJ is an autistic boy who has focused on horses. We don't find out until the end more about him, but it doesn't matter. All of the signs are there throughout the book and you can't help but sympathize with this boy. I saw so much of my own son in him that it was heart breaking for me. There were a few points in the book where tears streamed down my face because I just couldn't help it.
I strongly suggest this book for everyone. Even if it isn't your normal cup of tea, I really think you'll find something valuable in it.
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