©1967 by Dick Frances; (P)1995 by Blackstone Audiobooks
"A rare and magical talent…who never writes the same story twice." (San Diego Union-Tribune)
"In the world of mystery writing, Dick Francis stands head and shoulders above the rest." (Ottawa Citizen)
Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving or riding my bike.
I am never anxious for a Dick Francis book to finish. Never. His urbane, first person narrators are satisfying companions for however long it takes them to relate their tale, and they take me along to vividly rendered, fascinating settings in circumstances which are perfectly calculated to create suspense. As a bonus, I get an expert insider's view of the rarefied world of horse breeding and racing. His prose is spare and elegant and his plotting is flawless. Polished mastery in the service of accumulating tension and moments of unanticipated ferocity.
In this early work which already shows Francis at the height of his powers, his bereft but completely engaging protagonist takes us with him on a leisurely and terrifying float down an English waterway and then into some very rugged foothills in the American west; a soulless Las Vegas suburb, posh breeding properties in Kentucky and California, and a remote desert road in Nevada follow. I loved every moment of it.
I have been an avid Bibliophile since I learned how to read at 4 years old. I listen to audiobooks every day.
This is another great listen from Dick Francis and read really well by Geoffrey Howard. This book ranges from England to the United States and back again. This one really kept me riveted and in a couple tight spots the main character got himself in, kept me seated in my car until he got himself out again! For a book you'll want to listen to over and over, this is a good choice!
I have read this book in book format several times. I have also watched the movie made from the book a couple of times. This was the first time I have listened to an audio version. I enjoyed it very much! There are a few of Dick Francis' books that disappointed me, but this was not one of them...excellent story, excellently read.
First book I've read from Dick Francis, and not the last. It was a very interesting story with characters that all seem to have their own little secrets. Not so much of a mystery, as it is a suspenseful crime thriller. What I liked was the character development, which kept me listening. Our main man is battling depression throughout the story, with this job seemingly the only thing keeping him from ending it all. This job is recovering a stolen horse, that puts it's owner on someone's hit list, and anyone else searching for the truth.
I have listened or read 6-8 Francis books to date and this is my favorite. The lead character in this book is quite an interesting concept.
I don't usually rush out for all the "best sellers", but give each intriguing book/author a look. I have found many diamonds in the rough.
I did not know that this was published in 1967 until I was done with it. A very smart, timeless mystery.
When Dave Tellers prized race horses, that are worth millions, start mysteriously disappearing and then there is an attempt on his life, he enlists the help of Gene Hawkins, an English agent, who is known for his brilliance at solving cases. Gene is extremely methodical and has an amazing gift of perception, on the flip side he is also in a constant state of depression which he is able to hide very well.
The intricacies of the race horsing world are described and made easy to understand for the layman. The racing, siring, tattooing and care of these stately animals are all very interesting aspects of this great mystery. This story was highly engaging and I am looking forward to reading more of Dick Francis's intelligent and clean writing. Geoffrey Howard did a great job narrating and his different accents were performed extremely well.
fascinating, engaging, clever
The main character's depression-fueled narrative gave such a dark and eloquent view of the events that it added a spark to even the slow portions of the story. The book is so well written through this point of view that even when the character is sitting doing nothing for an extended period of time, the reader can't help but enjoy it.
I have not. And to be frank, I was very turned off by the style at first. That quickly evaporated and an intense respect for the method used by Mr. Howard developed as the book progressed.
Snide remarks forced out many brief chuckles, but this was more of a "can't put it down" type, rather than a tear jerker or knee slapper.
My best advice would be to give it a chance no matter what your initial reaction is, or what you think of the little blurb describing the plot. I went into the experience without knowing the author, the plot or even the gentleman who read the story and I think it was fantastic. I had major doubts a few minutes in, but as the characters started to come alive, so did my interest in them. Looking back, had I known it was about horses or that it was told by a friend across the pond - I likely would have shut it off fairly early and admit I wasted the $2.95 for which it was on sale. That would have been a mistake. I listen to books while at work, however this one caused me to listen even after arriving home. The perfect amount of thrill intertwined with the excellent writing leads to a hearty experience that I'm extremely happy to have had. Couldn't recommend it better than that.
This is only a slight change of pace from the usual Dick Francis mystery. I found it harder to warm up to the hero in this tale, but enjoyed it in spite of that.
Someone has been stealing expensive thoroughbred stallions. English agent Gene Hawkins volunteers to search for his boss's friend's missing horse. It takes him from England to America where the stallions have gone missing. The main character suffers from depression and is a running theme throughout. Looking for the horses takes Gene all over and gets him in several tight spots and you wonder how he's going to get out of them.
I might have given this five stars but there was one scene that was just too sad for me.
The narrator did a great job.
Geoffrey Howard is a talented storyteller and really brings this book to life! I am a huge Dick Francis fan and this book did not dissappoint me.
I listened to this book while driving back and forth to work.
I wasn't at all impressed by this book, the story was OKish, but the main character was a thoroughly unlikeable depressive with suicidal thoughts that overpowered the whole book.
I couldn't engage with ANY of the characters and really didn't care too much about what happened.
having been a fan of Dick Francis for almost 20 years now, I whave read and re read all of his books. The narrative form has ticked every box, when reading we enter our own imagination. The narrator has his voices down to a tee. I throughly recomennd to any one. five stars.
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