Verdict: A compelling read that asks “Would you settle for the short race, or do you have what it takes to hit the “High Road?”.
It was a relationship that started innocently enough; pretty, yet mysterious, young woman meets wealthy heir and college playboy. But amid strange circumstances, she ends up dead, and the entire nation chooses up sides as to whether or not Kurt Dufour is the man to blame. Now, acquitted and facing an uncertain future, Peter Dufour introduces his son to Otto Werner, a professional cycling coach, who, many years ago, changed his life.
Under Werner’s guidance, Kurt storms onto the cycling circuit with a determined eye on the ultimate prize; the Tour de France title. Only the boisterous blowhard and five-time champion, Jacques Poulain stands in his way. Off the track, Dufour faces personal obstacles that force him to confront the lessons learned from his past and how he sees his future.
Former Olympian, cycling expert and freshman novelist, David Chauner, introduces readers to the unpolished world of racing in this provocative story that addresses the age-old human dilemma; how far would one go to achieve your goals? Can the greater good prevail from sinister and selfish motives?
Keep in mind, this isn’t a tidy, toe-tapping “Rocky”-esque story. Instead Chauner deftly describes a compelling and complicated story of a hero haunted by his past yet driven with noble intentions weighed down by manipulation, greed, power, deceit– even murder.
Within the chaotic circumstances playing out in Dufour’s destiny, the question remains, and the outcome is far from complete. That’s the appeal. A change in choices could have deviated to a drastically different result, and the face of friend versus foe is as unpredictable as forecasting who will wear the yellow jersey. The life of a competitive cyclist brilliantly illustrates the chain reaction of those relatable events.
Chauner promotes his work as fiction. But the elements that piece together this story of a young man trying to find his way to redemption amid a network of conflicting passages smacks of a realism that ventures beyond the finish line and hits readers head on.
A compelling read that asks “Would you settle for the short race, or do you have what it takes to hit the “High Road?”.