Charles Todd is an English artist who is well known and respected for his renderings of sleek and athletic horses. What he now faces at his cousin Donald's house is also art - the art of a perfectly brutal murderer. Donald's home has been burglarized and his wife, Regina, is lying on her back dead, her face the color of cream. Donald is shattered, shocked, and a prime suspect. And Todd suddenly finds himself involved in a dangerous man-hunt as he searches, against all odds, for an elusive killer and some murderous answers.
©1976 by Dick Frances; (P)1996 by Blackstone Audiobooks
"Excitement from start to finish." (Publishers Weekly)
"Action, character, and color ride in perfect balance again….Francis stays on top because he remembers to touch bottom." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Few things are more convincing than Dick Francis at full gallop." (Chicago Tribune)
I have been an avid Bibliophile since I learned how to read at 4 years old. I listen to audiobooks every day.
Another great Dick Francis book and wonderfully read by Goffrey Howard. Here we have art mixed in with the horse world. While not really centered on racing this time, this is about Charles Todd, an artist, whose speciality is painting horses. He gets caught up in trying to unravel a mystery revolving around famous works of art of horses. Again, several places were very tense, wondering if he was going to emerge with his skin in tact! :-) This is a solid story with several twists along the way to make it even more fun. You won't regret listening to this one!
I have read every Dick Francis novel and enjoyed the audio presentation of this one very much. I have only 1 complaint, and that is that the reader does not make enough use of 'voices'. He has emotion etc and the book is well read and clear to listen to, but incomparison to some of the other readers he comes over as bland. I would still, however, recommend this to anyone who enjoys mystery without all the huge drama that sometimes comes along with it. It is realistic and the characters are likeable. I will get all the Dick Francis books I can that are available on audio.
The older Dick Francis books are always worth a read - and even a re-read. Dick Francis is an expert at character development. I prefer any of his older books than the ones recently published.
I've read many Dick Francis books and always enjoy them. He is such a goodcraftsmen that even his lesser works, such as this, can be mildly enjoyable. Here the awkward plot twists and coincidences strain belief. The most interesting part for me was Francis' introduction where he explains that the elements of this story, and especilly the technical details about painting, came from a vacation he had in Australia. It's interesting to see how an acomplished author can mine these everyday experiences for book material. He didn't find gold but the gems are semi-precious.
Of the half dozen books by this author that I have read, this is my favorite. Oddly, it is the furthest removed from the horse-racing world for which Francis is rightfully best known. Art fraud, greed and murder lead the way here, albeit with the Melbourne Cup playing a major role.
The characters ring true - including the initially skeptical wife of the narrator's art-school chum. The story proceeds at a quick pace - I did listen to this book in one sitting. The ending was not a big surprise but that was fine. The story is what kept me going as it is certainly not a rehash of plots used over and over in many disguises by authors of all stripes. A couple of moments did not ring true - what traveler has not heard of Ayer's Rock, for example - but not frequently or significantly enough to mar the book.
No graphic violence, no sex and little profanity if those things are important to you.
I have already listened to it three times. I love the story and the excitement.
I like the art in the story
Just as good. Very well done.
Yes, I'd recommend it. Frame has plot twists and turns and it has horses: major pluses. But it shows, as Franics so often does, competent, intelligent, good men and women having to take responsibility in their own hands, and go solve a crime or murder. I love the independence, bravery, competence, and moral goodness they show.
Fast moving book but easy to follow. Loved this book from start to finish. As all Dick Francis books there is a loose connection with the racing world and great ties from the story starting and finishing in England
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