Thanks to NeGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
THE CLINCHER by Lisa Preston is the first novel in the Horseshoer Mystery Series. The novel is due out on November 6th, 2018 by Skyhorse Publishing.
Rainy Dale is a twenty-something, high school dropout turned horseshoer who is running from her rough past and aspiring to a better future. After tracking down her childhood horse in Oregon, Rainy decides to stick around open up her own farrier (horseshoeing) business in the small town of Cowdry. When one of her clients is found dead not long after Rainy left the victim’s ranch, Rainy finds herself near the top of the local police’s suspect list. Rainy knows she is innocent – though that doesn’t stop her from blaming herself for leaving the ranch instead of sticking around like her client asked – and she takes it upon her herself to find out who killed her client and why.
While all of the information about horses and horseshoeing was interesting, I just couldn’t get into THE CLINCHER. I found the narrative to be choppy and hard to follow at times. The main aspect of the story seemed to be Rainy’s job as a farrier, and her amateur investigation took a backseat throughout most of the novel. I also thought Rainy was an unlikable character. She’s a hard, judgmental woman who feels guilty over certain things that happened to her in the past. She’s a loner, and she pushes almost everyone away – including the reader. Rainy also isn’t very nice or empathetic to anyone aside from her dog and the horses. She also swears a lot – not that the swearing bothered me. But Rainy’s constant swearing and then censoring/scolding herself over the swearing was distracting and annoying.