As a protagonist, Ike Cherny is not easy to love at first. He's the type of man mothers warn their daughters about. Good looking, arrogant and as much a stud as the stallions he profiles. While testosterone flows freely in this fast paced novel, our hero seems to care more for the horses in his charge than any of his numerous female admirers.
But as he strives to turn the blue blooded horses on his employer's stud farm into world class show horses while his stable of two-legged fillies keep on handing him problems, we begin to feel for him. First, Lisa, the one woman he may have truly loved, departs leaving only a note; then, Billie, his assistant trainer with a temper to match her red hair, starts coming on a little too strong; and finally the body of his newest conquest, is found floating in a nearby river. An autopsy reveals that she was two months pregnant and Ike wonders if the child could have been his. At this point we begin to understand this complicated man.
It's not only the women in Ike's life that give him trouble. He has reason to wonder if the owner of the stable is involved in something highly illegal and, as well, clergymen in the area are being murdered and the finger points to one of his women.
"Fame and Deceit" is a well-written and exciting look into the fascinating world of breeding stables and world class horsemanship--a world with which both the author and her husband are totally familiar. With her inimitable writing style, it's not only lovers of fine horseflesh who will enjoy this book.