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Under Orders | [Dick Francis]

Under Orders

"Sadly, death at the races is not uncommon. However, three in a single afternoon was sufficiently unusual to raise more than one eyebrow." It's the third death on Cheltenham Gold Cup Day that really troubles super-sleuth Sid Halley. Last seen in 1995's Come to Grief, former champion jockey Halley knows the perils of racing all too well but, in his day, jockeys didn't usually reach the finishing line with three .38 rounds in the chest.
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Publisher's Summary

"Sadly, death at the races is not uncommon. However, three in a single afternoon was sufficiently unusual to raise more than one eyebrow."

It's the third death on Cheltenham Gold Cup Day that really troubles super-sleuth Sid Halley. Last seen in 1995's Come to Grief, former champion jockey Halley knows the perils of racing all too well but, in his day, jockeys didn't usually reach the finishing line with three .38 rounds in the chest. But this is precisely how he finds jockey Huw Walker who, only a few hours earlier, had won the coveted Triumph Hurdle.

Just moments before the gruesome discovery, Halley had been called upon by Lord Enstone to make discreet inquiries into why his horses appeared to be on a permanent losing streak. Are races being fixed? Are bookies taking a cut? And if so, are trainers and jockeys playing a dangerous game with stakes far higher than they realize?

Halley's quest for answers draws him even deeper into the darker side of the race game, in a life-or-death power play that will push him to his very limits, both professionally and personally.

For more Dick Francis suspense titles, click here.

©2006 Dick Francis; (P)2006 Penguin Audio, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., and Books on Tape

What the Critics Say

"Dick Francis is a genius." (Los Angeles Times)
"The writing and action are as crisp as ever." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (272 )
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  •  
    Lynne Phelps Georgia, USA 10-03-06
    Lynne Phelps Georgia, USA 10-03-06 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Happy to see you again, Sid Halley!"

    <strong>Under Orders</strong> is the fourth book in Dick Francis’ series featuring one of his most popular detectives, ex-jockey Sid Halley, who turned to investigation after an accident (and a villain) left him without one of his hands. Previous stories in the series are <strong>Odds Against</strong>, where Sid adjusts to the loss of his marriage and his career as a jockey while working for an investigative firm, followed by <strong>Whip Hand</strong>, where he strikes out on his own as a detective with trusty sidekick Chico Barnes, and <strong>Come To Grief</strong>, where his relationship with the “Cassandra Committee” begins. Each book presents an not only an interesting puzzle, with illuminating insights into the world of British horse racing, but also lets you see how Sid grows and changes with his life experiences and with modern developments.

    <strong>Under Orders</strong> shows us an older, more settled Sid Halley who, at 38, has finally found his new love, the humorous Dutch scientist Marina. The interplay between the two enlivens an interesting story that involves race fixing, internet gambling, and murder. The plot presented many surprises with Francis’ usual twists and turns, including the identity of the villain. In other areas it was predictable, leaving you wanting to tap Sid on the shoulder and say, “Hey, you are overlooking this!”

    Although Tony Britton is my favorite Dick Francis reader, Martin Jarvis did a wonderful job and did not detract from my enjoyment of the story in any way. His reading is slightly more boisterous than Tony Britton’s but he does very well with town and country British accents from various classes.

    All in all, this was a good story and an absolutely essential listen for Dick Francis enthusiasts. Fans of Sid Halley will be delighted to be reunited with his most popular detective.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken Boiling Springs, PA, United States 10-06-11
    Ken Boiling Springs, PA, United States 10-06-11 Member Since 2014
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    "Read this one Fourth"

    If you like one Dick Francis mystery, you will probably like them all (if you get a good reader - which is usually the case fortunately). He wrote four mysteries featuring ex-jockey Sid Halley: Odds Against (1965); Whip Hand (1979); Come to Grief (1995); and Under Orders (2006). Even though the books span 40 years, the elapsed time within/between all the stories is about 3 or 4 years. Technology advances with the times from book to book and we aren't supposed to notice that as readers. After all, it's really the mysteries and Francis' quality writing that we're here for, isn't it? Of the four, I felt this was the weakest - but still worth it to complete the set. I'm not a big Martin Jarvis fan and this was also the first book Francis published after a long absence from publishing due to the death of his wife.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cindy Bryanston, South Africa 09-04-12
    Cindy Bryanston, South Africa 09-04-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Fabulously written and read. Another masterpiece"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely! Riveting, cannot put it down?


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Under Orders?

    The plot and tenacity and just brilliant writing


    Which scene was your favorite?

    All of it!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Portions made me chuckle with the cleverness


    Any additional comments?

    Beautifully narrated! Martin Jarvis keeps you riveted!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimberly Indianapolis, IN, United States 09-04-12
    Kimberly Indianapolis, IN, United States 09-04-12 Member Since 2015

    I enjoy historical, paranormal, and contemporary romance. Also steampunk, sci-fi, fantasy, suspense, and fiction. I'm open to about anything

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I enjoyed this one"

    I enjoyed this story very much and I think the performance was excellent. The accents were great (though I have always wondered why neither of the narrators who worked the Sid Halley novels didn't give him a Liverpool accent, since that's where he was born & raised. Shouldn't he have sounded more like John Lennon in the early days?) Back to the story and why I enjoyed it. Sid Halley is my favorite Dick Francis protagonist. I've read the other books as well, and the personality is consistent. The thing that is most different about this one, aside from the technological advances, is that it isn't as violent as the others. The story is more mind-games than go-beat-'em-up action. I know many won't appreciate that, but it's nice that there was only one martyred Sid episode in this one. No, it isn't edge of the seat, but it's a nice read anyway. Kept me going while I was doing other, mindless things.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Johnnie Walker Blaine, WA 10-14-06
    Johnnie Walker Blaine, WA 10-14-06 Listener Since 2003

    Black

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    "Who else co-wrote this book?"

    Over a period of 35 years, I have read and/or listened to every Dick Francis book written so was excited to find that a new one was about to be published. This one is "ok" but there is something about the book that does not feel genuine. A new reader may have contributed partly to this feeling, but it is more than that. Maybe Dick Francis is just getting old - or maybe I am.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Virginia 06-02-15
    Amazon Customer Virginia 06-02-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Not typical Dick Francis"

    Published under Dick Francis's name but almost certainly written by his son, Felix. It has all the earmarks--the main character's endless self-examination, the total lack of Dick Francis's keen understanding of human nature, none of the father's ability to vividly describe surroundings and action. In Dick Francis's hands, Sid Halley was flawed but strong. In Felix's hands, he's a whiner. The mediocre production is further marred by Martin Jarvis's exaggerated narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Crystal Friedl 05-02-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Great suspenseful listen"

    Well written and well read. It's a good suspenseful listen that will make you think at some times and your heart race at others.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Annette Paoli, PA, USA 02-28-15
    Annette Paoli, PA, USA 02-28-15 Member Since 2008
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    "Love it"

    Well written and narrated , dick Francis is a great story teller and the Sid story is very believable, well done!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    motown Bangor, Maine 02-10-15
    motown Bangor, Maine 02-10-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Disappointed in the Narrator"

    Under Orders is the third book in Dick Francis' set with Sid Halley as the protagnoist. Under Orders is the first and has Geoffrey Howard as the narrator. Unfortunately Geoffrey Howard died in September of 2014 and I just couldn't get used to Martin Jarvis as Sid Halley's voice. I have listened to other recordings of Dick Francis by Martin Jarvis and haven't had an issue, but, for me, Mr. Howard really captured Sid Halley's voice. I also didn't like how he portrayed Halley's father in law.
    The second book with Sid Halley as the protagonist is not on Audible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    laurel Sparks, NV, United States 12-10-10
    laurel Sparks, NV, United States 12-10-10
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    "Classic Dick Francis"

    This book was every bit as good as all the other Francis books I've read and loved more times than I can count. I enjoyed the narration and was very pleased by the reappearance of Sid Halley. I love Dick's books and read them over and over. I'll listen to this one again and again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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