Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Crossing the Line . . .

. . . a novel by Brennig Jones

I've been reading Brennig's blog for a year or two, and have become a fan of his style. Crisp, quick, funny, irreverent. When I found that he had published a novel, I thought it might be a worthwhile read. It was.

I hope I'm not being insulting when I call Brennig a horseman. A horseman in the British sense, that is. Eventing - dressage, show jumping, cross country. He's also a bit of an eclectic soul. Been there, done that.

Since most authors write what they know, I expected at least a side story involving eventing. Now, about the only thing I knew about horses is the hay goes in one end, and government policy comes out of the other. However, I like a good story, and I'm always willing to learn something new - so, on to "Crossing the Line."

Chris Stone is a corporate executive, specializing in information technology. He's organized - perhaps to a fault, competent, clever, and more than a little at sea. Something isn't quite right with his life.

Chris also has another life outside the office. He's totally, completely absorbed by his horses, the events he takes them to, and his circle of friends with like interest. Then, quite by accident, he meets Jacki Taylor. Chris is a bit out of his element. He's as unsure about Jacki as he is sure about his horses. Jacki knows nothing about horses and eventing, but she sees something very intriguing in Chris.

Jacki is easily assimlated into Chris' band of eventing friends and associates. She is beginning to feel comfortable with their developing relationship.

Then Vicky Randal appears. Vicky is American, rich, driven - and, by the looks of her - a supermodel on sabbatical.

Vicky moved to England to pursue her passion for eventing, but she doesn't know the value of English horses, and the training academy she has joined just isn't up to the standards she requires. So, what can Chris offer? Over a subtext of equine eventing, relationships develop, change and evolve.

I found Crossing the Line to be very entertaining. Mr. Jones absolutely knows his horses, but that wasn't the highlight for me. What will really hold your interest is the earnest, easy repartee among the characters. He could easily be writing dialog for television.

My observation is that there's a lot Brennig Jones in Chris Stone. A conclusion you probably wouldn't reach without familiarity with his blog.