After the Last Race by Dean Koontz

After the Last Race (1974)

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Publisher: Fawcett Crest, New York    
Book Description From Cover:      
  "Edgar and Annie are tired of living by the rules. Hard work has earned them only debt and loneliness. They want wealth - no matter what the risk.

Fearful but determined, they plan a clever, hideously dangerous robbery. The target: a thoroughbred race track on Sweepstakes Day. The goal: steal every dollar from the cash room and the mutuel windows - plus one million dollars that is on display as a promotional gimmick. The attempt draws into their lives many unexpected, sharply delineated characters, including an arsonist, a psychopathic killer, a cancer-stricken gambler on his last fling, and a wise young track detective.

Although this spectacular crime dominates the narrative, the novel moves on other levels as well. It paints a behind-the-scenes protrait of the dangerous, exciting world of big-time thoroughbred racing. And it is, further, a love story, working out the fates of two very different couples: Edgar and Annie, the pair who have set themselves against society; and track manager Jack Killigan and a stunningly sexy and corrupt woman who wants to destroy him."
First Sentence:        
  Garrison slowly turned in a full circle, studying the clearing that lay between the two birches.

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