Did not Finish by Simon Wood

In this start to a brand new mystery series, horror and mystery veteran Simon Wood takes the traditional amateur sleuth approach by introducing young race car driver Aidy Westlake in his novel Did Not Finish. On the eve of a race in a small regional British circuit, Aidy overhears thuggish driver Derek Deacon's threat against his teammate Alex, who's a much better (and dangerously aggressive) driver and likely to win not only the race but the circuit championship. Fact is, just about every driver has heard Derek's threat by race time, and ignored it as a typical bluster. Meanwhile, Alex has casually confessed to Aidy that he is planning to retire from racing to surprise his fiancée, who's not enamored of the sport.

When Derek’s dangerous race maneuver causes a crash that indeed kills Alex, Aidy is convinced the threat was followed through, because the slick thug also sails to victory in the race and the championship, which brings with it serious sponsorship money. Stubbornly, Aidy is driven to prove that Derek murdered the competing driver, especially when witnessing Derek's smugness. Aidy's father, a champion Formula One driver in the making had been killed in an accident that claimed both him and Aidy's mom, so the young sleuth sets out―with the help of his grandfather Steve and his buddy Dylan―to investigate the accident he believes is a crime.

The fact that the official race footage has been scrubbed, Alex's wrecked car suddenly disappears before it can be examined, and that Derek seems opposed to Aidy’s investigation in every step, all points to a conspiracy. But why? The headstrong young driver is even more determined to seek justice when he finds himself attracted to Alison, Alex's fiancée, despite her father's disapproval. Meanwhile, Derek's methods grow more overt, and the local police detective who's assigned to the case appears to be in cahoots with the arrogant driver.

Crafting this traditional and yet unusual mystery, Wood relies on his own race car driving experience to create a searing realism that sets it apart. There's a charming, almost Hardy Boys quality to Aidy's investigative efforts and his dogged intention to avenge his friend and bring the killer to justice, but this doesn't hamper any of the proceedings and in fact provides part of its distinctive character. Here's hoping Aidy Westlake will return to solve other racing-related crimes.

Simon Wood (Accidents Waiting to Happen, Paying the Piper, Terminated) continues to produce compelling thrillers, mysteries, and the occasionally horror, as both himself and Simon Janus, and is well-worth adding to your To Read list.

Did Not Finish Cover

by Simon Wood

Severn House

About the Author

W.D. Gagliani

W.D. Gagliani was born in Kenosha, WI, but grew up in Genova, Italy. He now lives and writes in Milwaukee, WI. He earned his Master's degree in English at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, where he also taught Composition and Creative Writing. Bill's first novel, Wolf's Trap, was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award in 2004—and was published by Leisure Books in 2006. He is also the author of the novels Wolf's Gambit (2009), Wolf's Bluff (2010), and Wolf's Edge (October 2011 from Samhain Publishing, who will also reissue Wolf's Trap in a new edition in 2012). He is also responsible for the thriller Savage Nights, and the novellas Wolf's Deal (2011), and The Great Belzoni and the Gait of Anubis, as well as the collection Shadowplays (all of which are available in all the popular ebook formats). With collaborator David Benton, he has published Mysteries & Mayhem, as well as various short stories and the middle grade novel I Was a Seventh Grade Monster Hunter (as A.G. Kent). Recently he has had nonfiction in On Writing Horror (WD Books), Thrillers: The 100 Must Reads (Oceanview), and the October 2011 issue of The Writer magazine.

His short fiction has appeared in the anthologies Dark Passions: Hot Blood 13, Malpractice – An Anthology of Bedside Terror, the German anthology Masters of Unreality, and the ezine Dead Lines (all with David Benton), plus Undead Tales, Wicked Karnival Halloween Horror, Robert Bloch's Psychos, More Monsters From Memphis, Extremes 3: Terror on the High Seas, Extremes 4: Darkest Africa, The Asylum: The Violent Ward, Small Bites, The Black Spiral: Twisted Tales of Terror, and The Midnighters Club, among others. Fiction has also appeared in mostly now-defunct ezines such as Horrorfind, 1000 Delights, The Grimoire, and Dark Muse.

Besides ChiZine, his nonfiction articles, reviews, and interviews have appeared in Cemetery Dance, Hellnotes, HorrorWorld, Paperback Parade, Flesh & Blood, SFReader.com, Bookpage, BookPage.com, BookLovers, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Science Fiction Chronicle, Bare Bones, The Scream Factory, Horror Magazine, Midnight Journeys, and various others.

Along with the Bram Stoker Award nomination for Wolf's Trap, he has had six Honorable Mentions in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, and won the 1999 Darrell Award of the Memphis Science Fiction Association. He is an Active Member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA), the International Thriller Writers (ITW), and the Authors Guild. For more info: www.wdgagliani.com. Find him on Facebook: www.facebook.com/wdgagliani and on Twitter @WDGagliani.