Books - Review

Showing all books by: Dick Francis

Glass blower, can't remember much else.
Um, not too good. Re-read this on 17th August 2007. I think I was generous with the score first time round - this has to be the worst DF ever! Totally contrived characters and a plot (revolving around video tapes containing vital info on how to cure cancer) that just doesn't hang together, and is so silly the characters have to keep explaining it to each other. And the bit where the exploding glass horse explodes is just ridiculous. And the policeman gets killed and its all terribly sad but we've never even met him as a character! Very bad. 3 out of ten this time.
Score: 4
Published: 2000
Read: April 18th 2001

Slay Ride
Set in Norway, body of a rider found on a racecourse, eventually. Some mining information has been nicked, and got in the wrong hands. Bloke goes swimming in the fjord.
Solid Francis this one.
Score: 7
Published: tbc
Read: April 24th 2001

John Kendall, aspiring author takes on the job of writing racehorse trainer Tremayne's biography, but uncovers a murder, and finds himself helping the police solve the case, until he becomes a target for the murderer himself.
Pretty good DF, and my 100th book in Cambodia. The one with the survival books.
Score: 7
Published: tbc
Read: March 22nd 2002

To the Hilt
The hero, Al, is entrusted by a Scottish lord relative to keep the Pride of the Kinlochs (an old sword hilt) safe. Also his stepfather has a heart attack and he (Al) has to go and look after the brewery which is in dire straits as the Finance Director has just done a runner with a load of electronic cash. Fortunately Al is a painter and can paint or draw all the baddies he comes up against, which helps, especially when he has to deal with the jealous daughter, who is in cahoots with the nasty lawyer. Good bit with some torture on a hot barbecue grill. Oh, and Al has a racehorse trainer wife with whom he doesn't live but he gets to sleep with her every now and then.
Pretty good Dick Francis actually, with a great stoical understated hero who is a very clever, gifted and modest. For a change.
Score: 7.5
Published: 1996
Read: May 6th 2003

The Danger
The kidnapping one.
Great DF.
Score: 7
Published: 1983
Read: July 3rd 2003

The Edge
Actors on a Canadian race-train
Not bad, better this time than first time round, whenever that was , in fact.
Score: 7
Published: 1988
Read: July 6th 2003

Break In
Newspaper campaign threatens Allerdeck, but Kit Fielding can sort it out, even while he is being distracted by the Princess's beautiful niece.
Not bad DF
Score: 7
Published: 1985
Read: July 8th 2003

10lb Penalty
Juliard wants to get elected and his young ex-jockey son has to help him out.
Score: 7
Published: 1997
Read: August 14th 2003

Second Wind
The crazy weather forecasters in a hurricane one.
Well, not good, really, but better than the last time I read it!
Score: 6
Published: 1999
Read: August 18th 2003

Come to Grief
A Sid Halley one with the popular ex-jockey TV personality who likes chopping off horses' feet.
Score: 7
Published: 1995
Read: November 3rd 2003

Wild Horses
Thomas Lyon is a film director making a film based on a book based on some real events in racing village 25 years ago. However truth is stranger than fiction, and Thomas investigates the old mysterious events at the same time as making an Oscar-nominated film and visiting his old friends endlessly, and being attacked at regular intervals by knife-wielding maniacs who seem intent on stopping the film...
Quite entertaining, although I thought the way he started a relationship almost going with the 18 year old student girl who just came in to catalogue the old books was a bit creepy.
Score: 7
Published: 1994
Read: September 11th 2009

Driving Force
The one with the horsebox business where a dead hitchhiker turns up and there is something being smuggled, and horses get sick, and the mechanic makes up bizarre rhyming slang (before being killed)
Pretty good entertainment.
Score: 7.5
Published: 1992
Read: September 13th 2009

Under Orders
Sid Halley, the one-handed ex-jockey turned private investigator rides (metaphorically this time) to the rescue again to solve a couple of perplexing murders that have the police puzzled and the racing world in a tizzy. Something to do with internet betting I think.
Hmmm. Not one of his best. Sid is a bit annoyingly right all the time. Oh well, this was sitting on the shelf of the Cooper's Beach holiday house.
Score: 6
Published: 2006
Read: January 23rd 2017