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Dead Heat

290 pages5 hours


Dead Heat, William Murray’s final novel, is a story of obsessions — of people driven to pursue their dreams and their desires at whatever cost. A haunted young woman who wants to become a famous jockey, an ex-mob enforcer fleeing his past, a trainer struggling with his own demons, and a potentially great racehorse inhabit the richly idiosyncratic racing milieu that is Murray’s hallmark.

Set against the panoramic backdrop of Santa Anita racetrack, Dead Heat is an evocative and elegiac tale of conflicting desires, sudden tragedy, and personal redemption. Amid the turbulence, the rhythm of the racetrack remains a constant.

Dead Heat is William Murray at his finest.

William Murray, who died in March 2005, is often described as America’s answer to Dick Francis. Murray was also a journalist, a playwright, and a 30-year veteran of The New Yorker. He wrote four non-fiction books as well as nine novels involving the world of horse racing. Two novels, The Sweet Ride and Malibu, were produced for a feature film and a TV miniseries, respectively. Murray lived in San Diego, California, and was a regular at Del Mar racetrack.

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