Rupert Campbell Black is back and now he wants to dominate the world of Flat Racing, in particular he wants Love Rat to be crowned Leading Sire. Long time rival Cosmo Rannaldini also wants the title for his sire Roberto’s Revenge so the gloves are off and the fight is about to begin. Rupert’s determination to win takes him round the world from Dubai to Australia and LA, leaving wife Taggie at home and his stables in the hands of Gav Latton, a recovering alcoholic. Whilst away Gala is employed to care for Rupert’s father but has more care for the horses so moves to the stables, and into Rupert’s affections. Jan is now Gala’s replacement, he claims to be gay but seems to want to take care of Taggie rather then Rupert’s father, Old Eddie. As strange occurrences begin to happen in the stables and at the race courses, and Rupert is tempted by Gala and Taggie by Jan, the stage is set for for a year of drama, both on the race course and off.
Mount! had a lot to live up to for me. I was fifteen when I first read Riders and became enamoured by Rupert Campbell Black, and I have followed him over the following nine books. I was relieved to say this book did not disappoint, it is Jilly Cooper at her best. The writing is flawless which makes it a real pleasure to read. Her descriptions and observations of people and life are brilliant and her characterisation is second to none. All the regular characters are back; Rupert is turning sixty but still has his roguish charm; Taggie is still devoted to him, but for the first time we see her being tempted by another man; the villains are still there in the form of nemesis Cosmo Rannaldini and Isa Lovell, the son of his rival from Riders Jake Lovell. It is like coming home to friends and family after a long vacation. As well as brilliant human characters Jilly Cooper also characterises the animals: Mrs Wilkinson, the Grand National winning horse who loves the limelight and attention to Titus Andronicus, who like his namesake is a tyrant who bullies horses and staff.
This book will take you laugh, cry and everything in between. It is a great big book of joy, mischief, sex, and horses that will engage you from start to finish. It is pure escapism, a fabulous read. I can’t wait for the next book.