[Following is an official
OnlineBookClub.org review of "Hotwalker" by Rick Neumayer.]
4 out of 4 stars
Meet Jim Guthrie, a 40-year-old private investigator living in Louisville,
Kentucky. He saves Libby Fontaine from a stupid boat accident; as a result, he
gains a new pro bono client. Libby’s friend, Carlos Rojas, is a hotwalker from
Guatemala who wants to find out who killed his father one year ago. For your
information, a hotwalker helps horses to cool down after a race.
The investigation leads the protagonist to Churchill Downs, the horse racing
complex where Felipe Rojas, the victim, worked as a groom. Jim has a wide range
of suspects, starting with Felipe’s colleagues, like Juan Diaz, a drinker with
a history of domestic violence. Herb Alexander (a rich guy with financial
problems) and Freya Hall, the attractive veterinarian, are not excluded. One
thing is certain—the crime is related to the thoroughbred horse racing
I loved the way Rick Neumayer created the mystery and built the suspense in
this engaging novel. The writer let me follow the clues without revealing the
killer, so I felt like Jim’s partner. The setting was actual; it mentioned the
pandemic and Biden’s new policies. Nevertheless, I found some interesting facts
about the horses. They prefer having smaller animals around, like goats or
cats, but they dislike dogs. The book was very informative about the Kentucky
Derby and the entire racing industry.
The author has a great sense of humor, and he poured it into the main
character. For instance, after “absorbing a beating,” Jim “eased out to the
porch with the grace of an arthritic octogenarian.” I also enjoyed the numerous
artistic and cultural references. You would not expect a former cop such as Jim
to paint as a hobby. However, expressing his feelings on a blank canvas help
the protagonist deal with his emotions.
This captivating book will appeal to fans of crime mystery, investigations, or
fast-pacing thrillers. Read the book if you want to discover what it takes to
be a good jockey, a trainer, a groom, or a hotwalker. It might be unexpected,
but the art lovers will encounter some pleasant surprises along the way. The
author also included some insights regarding the immigration policies and the
dire situation of the immigrants.
Hotwalker by Rick Neumayer gets a rating of 4 out of 4
stars because it is a very captivating read. There was nothing I
disliked about the novel, and I only found several minor errors. It was my
favorite type of book: entertaining and instructive, with a touch of humor
inserted in the perfect moment.