Felix Francis is back with another edge-of-your-seat thriller, in the classic Dick Francis tradition.Undercover investigator Jeff Hinkley is assigned by the British Horseracing Authority to look into the activities of a suspicious racehorse trainer, but as he’s tailing his quarry through the Cheltenham Racing Festival, the last thing he expects to witness is a gruesome murder. Could it have something to do with the reason the trainer was banned in the first place - the administration of illegal drugs to his horses? Then many more horses test positive for prohibited stimulants, and someone starts making demands, threatening to completely destroy the integrity of the racing industry. In order to limit the damage to the sport, it’s critical that Jeff find the perpetrator - but he’ll soon learn he’s up against someone who will stop at nothing to prevail.
©2014 Felix Francis (P)2014 Recorded Books
This has to be one of the first Dick Francis books I have not really enjoyed. The story grabbed you in parts but seems jumpy and disjointed. I also found the narrator a bit dreary making it hard to stay focused. I expected more.
For me Dick Francis' signature has always been the relentless pace of the main plot, intensity and suspense, which are all sorely lacking in Damage. Lackluster (tired) narration does not help either.
There are too many distractions (subplots that don't supplement the main plot) to the main plot. At times it appears the story is rushed... hence not well rounded and polished.
I'm a Dick / Felix Francis fan, so I'm hopeful of better work in the future. I'll be back for more.
Overall, this was not bad. The story was interesting, but not compelling. The characters were interesting and believable, but remained distant characters, rather than real people. The narrator was intelligible, but the character voices were occasionally a bit odd. So - overall it was good, glad I read it, but not something I couldn't put down.
I really enjoyed this book and listened to it practically non stop today. It was very suspenseful, especially at the part about the Grand National, and had an interesting ending which I didn't see coming. I would have liked to hear Tony Briton or Martin Jarvis narrate it, but this guy was good.
It has all of the classic Dick Francis elements, but something is missing. There is a lack of depth in the development of the bad guy...I hardly knew him. The main character doesn't have the opportunity to go deeper into himself as in Francis' other protagonists. The ending was really not well written in my opinion. I realize the senior has passed but I was hoping that the junior had been trained to go above and beyond. I will keep reading his books hoping for that. Secondly I personally didn't care for Mr. Nielson's performance. He did very well with secondary voice characterizations, but his protagonist didn't have the Simon Pebble or Tony Blair quality that makes these books so enjoyable.
Felix has managed to become the great author that his father was (and is)... The new character has depth and I look forward to reading the next story about Jeff the BHA investigator
Having read every Dick Francis book written, I understood why the quantity and quality of the books suffered a bit after the death of Mrs Francis, who was a strong but formally uncredited half of the "Dick Francis" writing duo. Their son Felix stepped in to his mother's place and had mixed results both when writing with his father and then on his own upon Dick's death (may he rest in peace.).
Felix seemed to be coming into his own recently, with good characters, pacing, and style.
I read this one about half from my Kindle and half lastening using Audible. I believe the narration detracted, as the actor sounded much older that that of the protagonist (a problem in a book written in first person). The voice characterizations of the secondary charactors seemed forced, stilted, and to these American ears, grating. It (the narration) was more to be endured than enjoyed.
When forgoing the narration and just reading, it struck me that the protagonist was being groomed as a sort of replacement for Dick's semi-recurring and always compelling Sid Halley character. But about 40 years on, it's time for a new semi-recurring character. The problem though is that this new Jeff (Geoff) Hinkley character is neither compelling, nor particularly clever, nor very likable.
In summary, I'm sure I'll read the next few books, too, in the hope that the writing and characters return to the promise that Felix showed in the past couple of books.
If you haven't read any other Felix's books - this would be fine.
Trying Kathy Reichs
Martin Jarvis is superb
I'm sure it would have been fine if I hadn't just finished listening to another of Felix Francis's novels.
Please change the details more from book to book - cancer, long term girlfriend not sure about...really? How many stories are going to contain the same situations?
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