Author T. Lawrence Davis of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, drew on his personal experience working as a groom at Thoroughbred race tracks and running his mother’s Thoroughbred horse farm to write his new mystery novel, The Pale Horse. Described as an intense, gripping racetrack drama, the novel follows Detective Jenna Lawson and her husband Larry Potter, a Woodbine veterinarian, both investigating a brutal murder in a race against the clock to find the killer before they strike again.
After years of following the racing circuit in Canada and the US as a groom and later farm manager, Davis went back to school in 1984 to study journalism. He was the managing editor of Canadian Thoroughbred magazine from 1986-88, as well as managing editor of The Atlantic Salmon Journal and The Journal of the Canadian Dental Association and a regional communications director with Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
“I ended up doing work that I really enjoyed – writing and editing – and met some really interesting people during my career, said Davis. “When I retired, trying my hand as a novelist seemed like a logical next step, and I’ve loved it.”
Following is a brief excerpt from the book The Pale Horse:
Jenna Lawson was standing outside an upscale apartment building on Old Mill Road. Two members of her team, Detective George Praxis and Detective Milton Devine, stood beside her, waiting for her instructions. Upstairs, a constable was stationed outside the door of unit 401. He’d already affixed crime-scene tape across the doorframe, warning the public not to enter the apartment. Not that anyone would be likely to stay long if they did. The sight of a dead body on the floor would be enough to give pause to all but the nosiest neighbour. Looking at someone whose throat had been slashed and whose blood had sprayed the wall behind his body would turn even the ghouls away.
“Okay, what have we got?” asked Lawson.
“It’s clearly a murder,” said Devine. “The victim is Clement Montgomery. His wallet was in his trouser pocket. The picture on the driver’s licence matches the appearance of the victim, and the address corresponds to the unit in this building where the body was found. Robbery doesn’t appear to have been the motive. Montgomery’s bank card and credit cards were in his wallet, along with two hundred dollars in cash. His throat was slashed, and his genitals have been cut off. There’s also a noose around his neck.
“The body was found by a Karen Drisco, an employee of the deceased. He trains Thoroughbred racehorses and has a stable at Woodbine. Drisco is a groom. She said Montgomery had invited her for dinner. According to her, the door of the apartment was open when she arrived. She went in, called his name, and when he didn’t answer, decided to look around. Constable Jackson is with her now; Constable Walker is stationed at the door of the apartment.”
“Right. Let’s take a look,” said Lawson…
The Pale Horse is available through Davis’s website at www.tlawrencedavis.ca. For more information on the author, visit his Facebook page or Instagram page. A book launch and signing is being planned for the near future.