No one really notices that a certain horse race might have been fixed until Matt O’Connor, a Chicago-based columnist for a national racing newspaper, gets a call from Moe Kellman, a horse-owning acquaintance. Kellman’s question for Matt: Was the death of ninety-two-year-old Bernard Glockner, Chicago’s oldest active bookie, suicide or murder? Glockner was Kellman’s late uncle, and Kellman, a man familiar with the Chicago mob, wants Matt to check it out. Matt quickly comes to believe that the fate of the bookmaker is tied to a series of races whose outcomes have been manipulated. His quest is aided by horse trainer Maggie Collins and Dave Zimmer, a professional gambler known as the Fount for his reputation as an encyclopedic source of information. Eventually, going as far afield as Las Vegas, they focus their sights on a brilliant sociopath. But why would this psycho have plotted a race-fixing scheme?
Spiced with lively language from the world of horse racing, Riders Down offers striking insights into that world and the possibilities of its corruption.