The Dublin Horse Show is one of the city's proudest traditions -- a grand institution tarnished this year by the murder of elderly Margaret Caughey. Chief Inspector Peter McGarr is puzzled by the strange death of a seemingly harmless old woman whose apartment contains not a trace of her past life -- and by the heinous crime's apparent links to the upcoming equestrian event. Nearly everyone associated with the unfortunate victim has connections to the Horse show as well, from dowdy Margaret's racetrack gadfly brother, to her surprisingly elegant daughter who's scheduled to compete . . . to an ex-IRA contract killer. And with race day rapidly approaching, McGarr knows he must work quickly to untangle this knotted skein of deadly secrets. For if he falters, the tireless detective fears that more blood may be spilt -- perhaps even his own -- before the riders leave the gate.