Dark Horse (Jim Knighthorse, #1)
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Dark Horse (Jim Knighthorse #1)

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  1,258 ratings  ·  154 reviews
When high school student Derrick Booker, the only black student at a posh Orange County high school, is accused of killing his white girlfriend, ex-college football hero and detective Jim Knighthorse is hired to dig a little deeper into the murder. It doesn't take long for Knighthorse to realize that not all is as it seems at tranquil Huntington High, from a band director...more
Kindle Edition, 238 pages
Published June 2nd 2010 (first published March 2nd 2010)
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Community Reviews

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Beanbag Love
I really enjoyed this book. It's got the same tone as the John Locke "Donovan Creed" series, but this protag is much more likable. Not nearly so amoral. When he does a bad thing, you know he's doing it for what seems to be a very good reason to him. You can actually empathize.

Plus, he's very funny, IMO. A lot of dry commentary and self-aggrandizing asides that come off as self-parody more than anything else.

This is a popcorn series and it's a lot of fun. There's also quite a bit of poignancy as...more
Krisi Keley
Former college football star and present private investigator, Jim Knighthorse, is hired to find evidence that will prove the innocence of Derrick Booker, a black student at a well-off Orange County high school who has been arrested for killing his white girlfriend. Convinced, along with several others, that Derrick has been framed, Knighthorse soon has a roster of suspects to investigate, from the girl’s abusive father to a band director with a penchant for seducing his female students, all whi...more
Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper
A fun read. Not too-too deep, but deep enough. The characters were more interesting than the plot. Gotta like a guy who talks to god at McDonald's over coffee. I'd call it a light read, but it was definitely a good read. Funny in places too, always a plus.
Marsha
Feb 10, 2012 Marsha rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Adults
I so glad that I discovered J.R. Rain. First, the Vampire for Hire series, now the Jim Knighthorse series is fantastic. Jim Knighthorse is a private dectective who also maded to the NFL until an accident ended his career. So, he decided to become a P.I. training under his father who he does not get along with.

Jim has been hired by an attorney to investigate the murder of a high school girl. Her boyfriend, the only African American student at a well to do Orange Co. school has been arrested for h...more
Simon Jenner
Hired to look into the murder of a student after her boyfriend is apparently framed, Jim Knighthorse finds all is not as it seems with the girl’s family or the teaching staff, and his suspicions are confirmed when a professional killer goes to great lengths to warn him off the case. But Jim is not one to back down easily. This murder mystery moves along at a fair pace and is written in an old detective novel style first person narrative. I was unsure about Jim’s character at first – he is quite...more
Matt Schiariti
After pilfering all Mr. Rain had written(to date) of Samantha Moon I figured I'd give some of his other characters a try. Knowing Jim Knighthorse from the Vampire For Hire series I figured he'd be my next stop.

Jim Knighthorse is 'just' a PI much like Samantha Moon is 'just' a PI. He's not a vampire but he's an ex high school and college football star who could have gone pro if it weren't for a catastrophic leg injury 8 years ago in his senior year. He's also the estranged son of a father who was...more
Kim
J.R. Rain is quickly becoming a favorite author for me. I recently read the first 3 Samantha Moon books and determined that I love Samantha Moon as much as I've loved and followed Sookie for the past several years.
I just now finished reading Dark Horse, the first in J.R. Rain's Jim Knighthorse series - and wouldn't ya know...I LOVED it! Jim Knighthorse is AWESOME! Though throughout the book, I kept thinking how similar Jim Knighthorse is to Myron Bolitar in Harlan Corbin's series of the madcap...more
Julie
J. R. Rain is a kindle bestselling author. I have going through my kindle and trying to read some books I've had for awhile, and this was one of them. I also, made a personal challenge in one of my groups to read more independent authors and authors writing for smaller publishing companies.I like the book pretty well, and if there are more in the series I will give the next one a chance.
This is a short story in my opinion. The estimated length is 158 pages. So, I had no problem reading it in on...more
Ed
J R Rain's first book in a present day, California noir detective series featuring Jim Knighthorse, an ex-football star/detective. Unfortunately, Jim's wise-cracking banter doesn't quite ring true exactly and distracts from his case at hand, proving a young black HS student not guilty of killing his girlfriend. He solves the case of course while dealing with his mysterious detective father, his mothers murder and subsequent drinking problem, his love life, his mission in life to sign with the Sa...more
Kristin
Writing: 3
Story: 3
Satisfaction: 3

I started off pretty annoyed with the protagonist in the story but once the actual story line kicked off, it became an enjoyable read. I especially liked the hobo "God."

Jim Knighthorse is a reluctant PI stuck reminiscing about the glory days of his college football career. His dreams of NFL recruitment died during a harsh play that left him with a crippled leg. Years later, he's looking to be recruited to an NFL team but an interesting case drops on his desk and...more
Carla
This is the first in the Jim Knighthorse Series. Jim is a PI and a ex college football star. One play took him out of the game but is his career in football over? Jim has a past that not many can overcome. He started his own agency even though his father owns one of the biggest PI firms in LA. Jim has women issues, daddy issues and an ego bigger than LA County. But he also has a big heart and a knack for helping the little guy and making bad guys disappear.
Clare
I LOVED this book, by far the best kindle book I have read this year. The writing is fresh, funny and keeps you guessing. I just wish I had a reason to hire a private detective and have him just like Knighhorse. I have the same sense of humour as him and found myself finishing the sentences before Id read them.
Really excellent.
A.M.
A kindle freebie. This is an all-American, macho detective story about a failed football player now working as a private investigator.

The pacing is solid and the plot is usual fare (kid has been framed for murdering his girlfriend), but the protagonist is unlikeable. Jim Knighthorse is chauvinistic, egotistical, and has questionable morals. He checks out every woman he meets, and never fails to remind us just how handsome, witty and muscular he is. That the novel is in first person only makes hi...more
Randy Daugherty
Jim Knighthorse is a former football great both high school and college but his hopes of a NFL spot were crushed along with his leg, the result of a cheap shot. Now he walks with a slight limp and constant ache always reminding him of what might have been.Now he was a P.I. and was being asked to take on a case, a case the local police called shut after all they had a suspect that had the murder weapon in the back seat of his car.

Derrick Booker, a young Afro-American student , star football playe...more
Teresa
I really love JR Rain's Vampire Moon books and have been waiting for the oportunity to read his Jim Knighthorse series,having met Jim in the Vampire Moon books. JR did not disappoint. In Dark Horse a well-respected, intelligent, young black athletic teen is accused of killing his white girlfriend based on flimsy evidence. Jim is hired to prove his innocence. Through a variety of subplots we are introduced to Jim's world including his long-time girlfriend, police detective pal, estranged father,...more
Roddy Williams
Jim Knighthorse may be a tad too handsome to be credible, six foot twelve or thereabouts, and as we are relentlessly reminded, he is BIG. It is little wonder then that he was an up and coming American Football star before his leg was shattered in half a dozen places and he became an apprentice PI in his father's investigation agency. Knighthorse, despite this, has a snappy line in dialogue, is throughly likeable and seems to have met God (who calls himself Jack) in McDonalds.
Knighthorse is call...more
PJ Swanwick
Quirky "God," crisp plot make spiritual mystery series a bargain for a buck

The first novel in a new ebook series by veteran writer J.R. Rain, "Dark Horse" follows Jim Knighthorse's emotional and spiritual growth as he struggles to solve murders both new and old. Selling for 99 cents on Kindle, this enlightened spin on the mystery genre promises to engage readers with its fast-paced story line and nontraditional theme.

My take: At first Jim Knighthorse, private eye, did not charm me. He comes acro...more
Melissa
I picked this book up on a whim and was totally blown away.

Jim Knighthorse takes a while to warm up to: he's handsome, superbly fit, and man does he know it. At first I was taken aback by Jim's huge ego, but as I read on he really started to grow on me. His quips of "Yeah, I know I'm handsome," provide comic relief to the heavy circumstances in the story as well as to the Jim's difficult past.

I loved being introduced to new characters throughout the story as they all seemed quite realistic and...more
Nikki13
The first book in the Jim Knighthorse series is amazing. Knighthorse is a big 6’4” 220, blond haired private investigator in Southern California and an ex-football player trying to rekindle his career. Although he is arrogant, I find him likeable. He is like a flawed hero so it makes him more human. The case he takes on puts his life in danger. When a teenage girl is murdered her boyfriend is accused and he happens to be one of only three African American students in the school. Knighthorse beli...more
Barrie Penman
kindle freeby.
Was seriously worried by mentions of vampires by other reviewers as I can't be arsed with this twattle. The chewing of a garlic clove whilst reading has had the desired effect, so far I can confirm it is a pure unadulterated all American detective novel. A lot of reference to a rugby style game what they call football which strangely enough doesn't resemble football even slightly. (They also have the girly game of rounders which they call something else I cant remember at the momen...more
Shala Howell
Chauvinist, egotistical failed football player? I'm going to hate this guy, right? Turns out not so much. He's at least partially broken and has a principled moral code. I may not like his actions, but I get why he does them, which makes him both more interesting and less irritating than I expected.

Also right now I'm interested in how writers add emotional punch to their stories. A story told from the point of view of a thickly shielded macho football player wouldn't seem to have much room for...more
Troy  Dye
Dark Horse by J.R. Rajn

Dark Horse by J.R. Rajn

It doesn't take much to frame a high school student for his girlfriend's murder. For Jim Knighthorse to find the real killer could be a life altering experience. who put out the contract on his life? Can God (Jack) forgive you for the cold blooded killing of truly evil people? Is Jack really God, and what secret is he keeping about the murder of Jim's mother?
Kitty
I'm afraid this was a "just barely 3 stars" for me. I'm really a bit torn on this one. It caught my eye because of the location - much of the story takes place in Huntington Beach, California (where I went to high school). The location references were all familiar to me, which was fun. However, I'm not all that crazy about Jim Knighthorse, the main character. I don't know if it's a guy thing, but I found his ego just a bit annoying, and his ethics to be a bit "questionable". Not that he wasn't a...more
Anita Clay
Jim Knighthorse is a private detective and an ex-football star. His office is filled with pages from his past. In this book, he has taken on the case of a black high school student who has been accused of murdering his white girlfriend. The people running the high school are far from innocent.
Knighthorse is also investigating his mother’s murder from 20 years agao. As the investigation heats up he gets help from an unlikely source. Could God, or Jack which is really what is likes to be called,...more
S.E.
Jim Knighthorse is a private detective who is feverishly working in his spare time on getting back into professional football playing shape. He is tall, blond, and handsome and he knows it, but never was a guy more charming about his appeal.

Knighthorse is hired by the attorney for a young high school senior, Darren, who is being held for the murder of his long-time girlfriend. Darren has no alibi and the murder weapon was discovered in the back seat of his car. Knighthorse doesn't think Darren i...more
Nathan Shumate
Jim Knighthorse very much wants to be Robert B. Parker's Spenser: A muscular wiseacre who pokes problems until something bites back. (Not nearly as good as Parker at his height, but even Parker was nowhere near as good as Parker at his height for the last two decades.) Interesting twist: The bum Knighthorse meets regularly at McDonald's who may or may not be God -- a terrific angle which has the potential to go so very, very wrong in subsequent novels. Stay tuned.
Adriana Noir
Jim Knighthorse is cocky, confident, funny, and one heck of a detective. He also has his weaknesses: football, a bum knee, and Cindy. I found myself laughing out loud at his brash thoughts, intrigued by his conversations with a homeless God, and aching to unravel the mysteries he was trying to solve...as well as those from his past.
The writing was no frills and fast-paced, and the story driven by smooth, natural dialogue. Not a whole lot of in depth exploration, but you still get to know these f...more
Lilith K
Another random choice on the Kindle. I really loved the cheeky narration. I liked that the main character had a lot of his own problems non-related to the case he was dealing with. However, the mention of drinking his fourth refill of coke and other 'bulking' up scenes had my stomach doing knots. I like he's trying to reclaim his glory and struggling with this case and trying to keep hold of his woman. I like there's a bum who may or may not be an avatar of god.

Some other parts seemed a little...more
Desley (Cat fosterer)
This is the first book in his Knighthorse series, I have read one of his other series already this year.

It is a very easy read, about an ex footballer turned PI, who is going through some challenges in his life, and ends up in some very interesting situations.

I didn't like it as much as his vampire series, but would read more from him.
Joy
Dec 26, 2012 Joy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: kindle
I downloaded this for free off my Kindle app.

I don't read a lot of mysteries but this book has the feel of an old detective novel with its running monologue that often strays off topic. There's also a list of interesting characters. Cindy, his girlfriend, is a direct ancestor of Darwin. Jack, a bum at McDonald's, claims to be God and does actually know some things that he shouldn't. Sanchez, a cop, works out with Knighthorse.

Knighthorse is a private eye who used to be a fullback who missed out o...more
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5753883
I'm an ex-private investigator now writing full-time in the Pacific Northwest, where I live in a small house on a small island with my small dog, Sadie, who has more energy than Robin Williams.

As a kid I was always making stuff: skates, skateboards, skimboards, skis, sleds, clothing, furniture, wood carvings, Easter baskets, comic books, you name it. I was the mother of all nerds. Anyway, I think...more
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