President Donald Trump wants to cut a budget the Bureau of Land Management uses to care for wild horses. Instead of paying to feed them, he has proposed lifting restrictions preventing the sale of American mustangs to horse meat dealers who supply Canadian and Mexican slaughterhouses.
Horse meat, or chevaline, as its supporters have rebranded it, looks like beef, but darker, with coarser grain and yellow fat. It seems healthy enough, boasting almost as much omega-3 fatty acids as farmed salmon and twice as much iron as steak. But horse meat has always lurked in the shadow of beef in the United States. Its supply and demand are irregular, and its regulation is minimal. Horse meat’s cheapness and resemblance to beef make it easy to sneak into sausages and ground meat. Horse lovers are committed and formidable opponents of the industry, too.
The management of wild horse herds is a complex issue, which might create difficulty for Trump. Horse meat has a long history of causing problems for American politicians.
At first glance, it has all the hallmarks of a beach read: Summer, a shore town in New Hampshire full of tourists and locals, a murder (double murder, actually) and an investigation which take up several hundred pages. There's a zip to it. A musicianship to the language that makes the whole thing hum like a plucked guitar.
But the question you've gotta ask yourself is, what kind of summer read are you looking for? How much blood do you want to take to the beach with you? Because this book is a mystery, but only kinda. A procedural, but only kinda. A love story, done in the terrible tones of dead-end youth crossed with die-for-you romanticism. It's a summer book for people who hate the light.
It’s a strange, slightly haunting voyage into digital life that reads as much like a short story as an essay. It ends with O’Hagan encountering the dead man’s mother. And suddenly, at the core of this excellent collection, we glimpse the unbridgeable difference between the real and the invented.