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New York Times bestselling grand master of crime fiction
Jockey Freddie Croft discovers a high-stakes conspiracy that exposes the seedy underside of horse-racing-and faces deadlier odds of survival than in any steeplechase run.
were taking runners to Southwell. There was an all-weather track up there, just northeast of Nottingham, giving an underfoot surface which had proved popular because it didn’t crack, freeze or flood like turf. Its only drawback as far as Pixhill trainers were concerned was its distance of a hundred and fifty miles from home: as far as Croft Raceways was concerned, the distance filled the coffers. It was about the farthest the vans went out and back in one day, entailing early starts and late
have. They’ve been saying so all week.” Trying to convince themselves, I thought. I drove home, where the computer whiz soon joined me. He stood with his legs apart in the center of my devastated sitting room, the hand combing through the hair nonstop. “Yes,” I said to his stunned silence. “It took a bit of strength and a lot of pleasure.” “Pleasure?” He thought it over. “I guess so.” He put the wreck of the old computer onto one of the few free areas of carpet and installed the new version
for testing, and for infecting another organism for research purposes, but viruses don’t live long in the medium or on culture plates.” “How long?” “It would depend. The conflicting views here in the university say for as little as five hours or for as many as forty-eight. After that, any virus would be inactive.” “But, Lizzie . . .” “Yes, what?” “I mean . . . I don’t really understand.” “You’re hardly alone,” she said. “There are about six hundred known viruses, probably there are at least
cupboard. “Michael was furious about our computer. That young genius who’s fixed it for us told us we hadn’t had the virus lurking inside there for more than a month. Betsy, our secretary, started using new floppy disks as backup disks a month ago. The virus was on those, but it wasn’t on the backup disks she’d used earlier. So the wizard says we didn’t have the virus then.” I thought about it. “So Betsy hadn’t used the old backup disks recently?” “No. No need. I mean, you only use backups if
I now only had hours to find solutions before we were swamped by heavy boots. “You’re unfair to the police,” she observed. “I daresay.” “The solutions, I do agree, seem as far away as ever.” “Sandy Smith,” I said, “says it’s a matter of asking the right questions.” “Which are?” “Yes, well, there’s the rub.” “Think of one.” She drank her coffee, smiling. “All right,” I said. “What do you think of Aziz?” “What?” She was surprised; almost, I would have said, disconcerted. “He’s odd,” I