3 out of 4 stars
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Katalyst is the exciting and the mind-boggling third book in Kat’s Gift Thrillers created by Harriet Redfern.
After another spectacular victory by star racehorse, Tabikat, at the previously held Cheltenham Gold Cup, his trainer and the squire of Sampfield Manor, James Sampfield Peveril, strongly feels that the talented racehorse is up to the challenge of the jump racing Triple Crown.
Meanwhile, horse breeder and former jockey, Eoghan Foley, is determined to find the one who destroyed his career and caused his family so much grief. In order to accomplish that, however, he needs all the help he can get, including those of Frank Stanley and his team, Isabella Hall and George Harvey, racing tipster Stevie Stone, superstar jockey Merlin ap Rhys, and James Sampfield Peveril and the Sampfield Grange staff.
With forty-five chapters and an Epilogue, the book is a fast-paced thriller and is told in the third-person perspective. More than the excitement of the Triple Crown, the series of events: a violent attack on a jockey; a threat to Tabikat; a horse-doping incident; and the sale of Katalyst, the sensational, three-year-old colt from Feirm Enda, among others, will keep the readers on the edge of their seats and their eyes glued to the page. The author successfully brings up a multitude of subjects including revenge, drug dealing, horse doping, organized crime, and terrorism.
Fans of Tabikat will find themselves holding their breath and cheering him on as the author adeptly takes the readers to the exciting and suspenseful, albeit, dangerous world of horseracing. The jumps of the horses, the fences they overcome, the gestures by the jockeys, and the animation and noise of the excited spectators are described by the author in vivid detail.
The plot is developed by introducing a new, and usually unexpected, revelation or twist in almost every chapter that leads to an explosive climax and a satisfying denouement. Fans of the entire book series may find it difficult to say good bye to their favorite characters. For me, that would be James Sampfield Peveril, the reserved but very helpful and cooperative horse trainer, closely followed by Merlin ap Rhys. Merlin may be arrogant and a bit narcissistic, but he is good at what he does, passionate even, and he genuinely cares about horses.
Needless to say, I enjoyed this book immensely. The part I like most is how the author brings everything together seamlessly, like explaining the connection of a crime committed thirty years ago to the present events. It says much about her as a writer.
However, the series, somehow, requires a good memory as some readers may find it difficult to remember all the names including those of the horses as well as the horseracing events. Moreover, there are several noticeable errors within the entire book mostly typos (like Sam opinion and its well buried).
I, therefore, rate it 3 out of 4 stars. It is exciting, suspenseful, and very enjoyable. I recommend it to readers who enjoy suspense and thriller novels. It is also strongly recommended to read the entire series in proper order.
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