by Marcie Murray
In Marcie Murray's second novel, Trickster's Odds, a young Native American doctor, framed by political enemies for the murder of his beloved wife, has become a federal fugitive. Abetted by a noted Hollywood celebrity with his own agenda, Trennen Divinghawk now masquerades as a racehorse groom far from his traditional home. While waiting for crucial evidence to exonerate him, he continues his backstretch and migrant camp medical practice on the side, treating complaints from cat scratch fever and snakebite to gunshot wounds -- including his own.
He chances upon stable worker, Mikey Curry, felled by a track-side collision with a bolted horse. She wants -- upon reviving -- and other than obscuring her checkered past, to keep her runaway sister safe from their dad's widow, a vicious crank, also the beneficiary of his community property. The woman seeks to have a court declare Mikey missing, presumed deceased by summer's end, in order to defeat an escheat loophole in Mikey's dad's bequest of his land to his daughter.
All Mikey need do (besides stay alive, win back her home and recover her slightly-compromised sanity) is prevent one deep-cover FBI agent and random teams of US Immigration cops from arresting "El medico Joaquin". All while she works to improve odds on the wily Trickster's love -- he being the only man clever and compassionate enough to mend her spirit as well as her heart.