Book Review: The Clincher by Lisa Preston

The Clincher
 A Horseshoer Mystery #1
Lisa Preston
Skyhorse Publishing, November 2018
ISBN 978-1-5107-3272-8
Hardcover

Apparently the last person to see her client alive, horseshoer Rainy Dale is on the police’s short list of suspects when Patsy-Lynn Harper is murdered on the afternoon Rainy shoes Patsy’s prize stud. Considering she’s a comparative newcomer to her small Oregon town, Rainy is an easy mark. Especially since someone seems determined to set her up, with clues pointing right at her.

But Rainy has her friends, too. Her boyfriend, Guy, who’s taken in Rainy, her dog, and even her horse, Red. There’s a young girl, Abby, who has her own secrets and is as horse-crazy as Rainy was at that age, who turns out to play a big part of the plot. And even a local vet takes her at face value.

Rainy is put in great danger by the end, and Guy, a gourmet chef on the cusp of owning his own upscale restaurant, is willing to give up everything to save her.

The plot touches on many subjects, all put forward in a logical and organic manner. Adoption, teen-age waywardness and angst, bullying, drug use–in this case steroids. And, of course, the shoeing of horses, one aspect of which fuels the title of the book.

The Clincher has some of the most interesting and unique characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading about. The plot is fast-paced, the characters are sympathetic and come alive under Preston’s sure hand. As a plus, the writing is excellent over-all. I can’t wait to read the sequel.

Reviewed by Carol Crigger, July 2018.
Author of Three Seconds to Thunder, Four Furlongs and Hometown Homicide.