©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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 enjoyed this book. I have read or listened to many Dick Francis books. He has a tendency to be very violent and morbid. He managed to control his penchant for violence to beset his main characters in this book. His main character was very serious and there were several opportunities for him to be beaten, tortured, mentally abused etc. However, Dick did not maximize these opportunities as much as he had in some of the other works I have read. It was refreshing not to have this happen. I can only take so much gratuitous self destruction in one sitting. It was a nice surprise to have less of this in this particular publication. The characters were likeable and did not get beaten up so badly that it seemed unbelievable. I listened to this book all in one day as I was painting trim at my son's house and I was not bored and not shaking my head. Thanks for a good book Dick!
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.
Francis has written so many books around the horse racing business but they are not cookie-cutter versions of each other. Each one is fresh and interesting and very enjoyable.
Thanks, Dick, it's a great ride.
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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