Max Moreton is a rising culinary star and his Newmarket restaurant, The Hay Net, has brought him great acclaim and a widening circle of admirers. But when nearly all the guests who enjoyed one of his meals at a private catered affair fall victim to severe food poisoning, his kitchen is shuttered and his reputation takes a hit. Scrambling to meet his next obligation, an exclusive luncheon for 40 in the glass-fronted private boxes at the 2,000 Guineas, Max must overcome the previous evening's disaster and provide the new American sponsors of the year's first classic race with a day to remember.
Then a bomb blast rips through the private boxes, killing some of Max's trusted staff as well as many of the guests. As survivors are rushed to the hospital, Max is left to survey the ruins of the grandstand: and of his career. Two close calls are too close for comfort, and Max vows to protect his name, and himself, before it's too late.
©2007 Dick Francis Corporation; (P)2007 Penguin Audio, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc.
"Crisp writing and well-paced action." (Publishers Weekly)
This was a disappointing effort for Dick Francis. The plot was loose, the deductions were wild leaps that hadn't been well set up, and the customary Francis wit is missing. Add to that, the usual stoic, quiet strength of a typical Francis hero does not come through at all. In fact, the hero sounds distinctly whiny at times, although to be fair I don't know if this is a result of the writing or of the narrator.
Martin Jarvis is a poor replacement for Tony Britton as the reader. His voice is irritating, and he tries too hard to emote when the characters in Francis novels have always been written as very understated. As I said, he often comes across sounding whiny which is what largely ruined the book for me.
I was very disappointed with "Under Orders" and questioned at the time who helped him write it. The answer is apparently his son Felix and he is getting better. This one was a little slow to start but in the end was pretty typical Dick Francis. If you are looking for great literature, you will not find it here. But if you are looking for a few entertaining hours, this one does just fine.
There are traces here and there of Dick Francis, who is a consummate writer. I suspect he did a little line editing. If this is, as I suspect, a virgin effort for his son, his father should have been a less tender editor. I am now 2 hours and 40 minutes into this book and there is no trace of a mystery or any indication that there will eventually be a plot. I suggest a good writers' group for young Felix, with people in it who'll be honest about his manuscript's shortcomings. I'm sorry Dick Francis has retired; his son hasn't yet learned enough about plotting and timing to replace him.
So wonderful to hear that Felix has learned his storytelling craft so well from his parents. I have loved Dick's books for years, and I look forward to enjoying Felix's in years to come. Felix is an excellent story teller, and we are all blessed to have his stories to enjoy.
I've listened to this one twice--about four years apart, and thoroughly enjoyed it both times. The story and characterization and superb, as is the narration.
By far the most entertaining. Combines two of my favorite things, horses and horse racing, along with cooking and celebrity chefs!
When Caroline used her viola to brain the bad guy!!
Oh, yes, and over & over again!!
One of the best audio books I have had the pleasure to hear, EVER!!
This book grabbed me at the start just like others by Dick Francis but it fell short in plot and suspense. The principal character is the victim of several failed attempts to discredit him or kill him but the reader never really understands why he is targeted. Not what I have come to expect from this author. The narration was good and kept me engaged enough to finish.
Great writing style. Exceptionally well read.
This time Francis and Francis delve deeply into the catering industry. I feel like after each novel, I have not only learned more about horses, but also am an expert on some field of study I never wished to learn about. That alone makes me laugh as I listen to these stories.
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