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Astride a Pink Horse by Robert Greer

Astride a Pink Horse by Robert Greer is a thrilling ride steeped in the mystery of the west and its ties to the Cold War and nuclear missiles.  Elgin “Cozy” Coseia and Freddie Dames are college buddies who were drafted to major league baseball teams before an accident stopped Cozy’s career very short and they went into business as journalists in Denver.  A murder of a former Air Force Master Sergeant Thurmond Giles, a former nuclear-missile maintenance technician, has these boys running the bases faster than they ever did in college baseball, as they play tag with local law enforcement in Wyoming and team up with Major Bernadette Cameron of the Air Force.  The back-and-forth investigation has the journalists and Cameron working closer than her superiors want her to be, but a murder and possible national security breach are at the top of all of their agendas.

Greer intricately weaves in the story of the murder with anti-nuclear protesters from the 50s and 70s, a WWII Japanese-American internment camp survivor, and a hospital equipment transporter into the story in a way that keeps readers guessing as to how they are all connected to one another and possibly the murder.  Giles is far from well liked by anyone given his large ego and his womanizing, and navigating civilian and military investigations into not only the security breach at Tango-11 a decommissioned missile silo, but also the murder of Giles.

“‘As the pitiful-looking beast approached me, faltering with each step, I realized that it was carrying a rider who was charred almost black from head to toe.  I watched for a few moments as animal and rider, unaware of my presence, veered to my left and walked toward the river to disappear into the yellow haze.  Thoughts of my wife and children, coworkers and countrymen, worked their way through my head, but it was the image of the charbroiled rider astride a pink horse that stayed with me the rest of the day.'” (page 159 ARC)

Greer’s characters are eccentric and downright odd at times, especially WWII Japanese-American internment camp survivor Kimiko Takata who’s battling dementia and her nephew Rikia, who is paranoid that his math colleagues are eager to steal his work and ultimately the glory that he knows it will come with.  Egos are big with some of Greer’s characters, but what sets some of them apart is their purpose, like Freddy Dames’ search for the biggest story that will make his Web-based news service shine.  Cozy and Cameron are strong-willed and used to working alone, but in this case, they come to realize that standing alone all of the time can be too comfortable and lonely at the same time.

Astride a Pink Horse by Robert Greer is well crafted mystery that will leave readers guessing for most, if not all, of the book.  His characters are unique, eccentric, and witty, which helps keep the pace fast and the suspense thick.

The novel is a standalone, but Greer also has a mystery series with CJ Floyd.

About the Author:

Robert Greer is a native of Columbus, Ohio, who spent his formative years in the steel mill town of Gary, Indiana. He graduated from Miami University at Oxford, Ohio, in 1965 with a Bachelor of Arts degree and subsequently earned degrees in dentistry, medicine and pathology from Howard University and Boston University. He is a professor of pathology, medicine, surgery, and dentistry at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center where he specializes in head and neck pathology and cancer research. He also holds a masters degree in Creative Writing from Boston University and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Miami University, his alma mater. Greer has lived in Denver for thirty years.  Visit his Website.

This is my 36th book for the 2012 New Authors Challenge.

  • caitlin

    Serena, thanks for this wonderful review! We sincerely appreciate it!

  • I’m not much for mysteries although I read a few so I’m not sure this is for me but I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    • I really did enjoy it. I think this one held my interest a lot more than others I’ve read lately.

  • Sounds like a good one for Mystery Monday.

    • I think you’d like it.

  • You know I’m not a big mystery reader, but this one sounds like it works.

    • I think you’d like this one. I’m passing my copy onto my mom though.

  • It sounds like there’s a lot going on in that book. It must be well written to work so well.

    • It was really well written and I enjoyed it a great deal. I’m passing this along to my mom who loves mysteries.