“The thriller of the summer.”
Set in the glamorous, competitive world of showjumping, a novel about the girls who ride, their cutthroat mothers, and a suspicious death at a horse show…from the author of Good Rich People
When the nouveau riche Parker family moves to an exclusive community in the heart of Southern California, they believe it’s their chance at a fresh start. Heather Parker is determined to give her daughters the life she never had—starting with horses.
She signs them up for riding lessons at Rancho Santa Fe Equestrian, where horses are a lifestyle. Heather becomes a “Barn Mom,” part of a group of wealthy women who hang at the stables, drink wine, and prepare their daughters for competition.
It’s not long before the Parker family is fully enmeshed in the horse world—from mean girl cliques to barn romances and dark secrets. With the end of summer horse show fast approaching, the pressure is on, and these mothers will stop at nothing to give their daughters everything they deserve.
Before the summer is over, lies will turn lethal, accidents will happen, and someone will end up dead.
Horse mothers put stage mothers to shame in this wildly entertaining thriller from Brazier (Good Rich People). Texas transplants Heather and Jim Parker buy a $28 million house in Southern California, and arrive at the nearby Rancho Santa Fe Equestrian Center at the top of the heap. Heather will do anything to help her young teen daughter Maple win the annual horse show, including engaging in full equine combat with top "barn mom" Pamela and her vicious daughter, Vida. Meanwhile, rumors swirl around Kieran Flynn, the equestrian center's charming owner and head trainer, and his "implausibly handsome" intern. Suspicious accidents pile up gradually—a horse spooked by spilled soda, a cut stirrup—until somebody winds up dead. Brazier cleverly heightens suspense by declining to reveal the victim's identity until late in the novel, stacking motives and suspects before she finally hits readers with the gruesome murder. Her characterization impresses, too: the horses emerge as distinctive personalities in their own right as the author nimbly juggles the humans' scandalous backstories. This is a sparkling addition to Brazier's impressive career.