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Odds Against | [Dick Francis]

Odds Against

Sid Halley, champion jockey, had to give up racing when his hand was smashed. But his next job brings him a bullet, right in the middle of his chest. As he would soon discover, life as a private eye could get a lot worse. Especially when a ruthless property dealer has plans for Seabury racetrack. Plans that have nothing to do with racing and everything to do with conspiracy and violence. The kind of plans that set high odds against a novice detective staying alive.
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Publisher's Summary

Sid Halley, champion jockey, had to give up racing when his hand was smashed. But his next job brings him a bullet, right in the middle of his chest. As he would soon discover, life as a private eye could get a lot worse. Especially when a ruthless property dealer has plans for Seabury racetrack. Plans that have nothing to do with racing and everything to do with conspiracy and violence. The kind of plans that set high odds against a novice detective staying alive.

©1965 Dick Francis; (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (208 )
5 star
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4.4 (93 )
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Story
4.4 (92 )
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Alex Laguna Beach, CA, USA 05-29-08
    Alex Laguna Beach, CA, USA 05-29-08 Member Since 2003
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    "Dick Francis"

    I am a Dick Francis fan because his plots have the balance of mystery, suspense and comfortable characters and at a nice pace. This is a typically good story. My one complaint would be that the reader sounded so much older than the characters.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken Boiling Springs, PA, United States 10-06-11
    Ken Boiling Springs, PA, United States 10-06-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Read this one First"

    If you like one Dick Francis mystery, you will probably like them all (if you get a good reader - which is usually the case fortunately). He wrote four mysteries featuring ex-jockey Sid Halley: Odds Against (1965); Whip Hand (1979); Come to Grief (1995); and Under Orders (2006). Even though the books span 40 years, the elapsed time within/between all the stories is about 3 or 4 years. Technology advances with the times from book to book and we aren't supposed to notice that as readers. After all, it's really the mysteries and Francis' quality writing that we're here for, isn't it?

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Elmira Heights, NY, USA 02-04-08
    Stephen Elmira Heights, NY, USA 02-04-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "excellent read"

    My husband and I thoughly enjoyed this audio book. The narrator always plays an important role and this book like all of Dick Francis's books was truly engrossing. Carmen Miller

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angus Davis Northeast USA 08-17-07
    Angus Davis Northeast USA 08-17-07 Member Since 2007

    aragornelxxii

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    "A great read (listen.)"

    I hadn't yet met the central character in this story, a former jocky with a maimed hand, and I found him very sympathetic. His courage, lack of self-pity and sensitivity to the feelings of others similarly afflicted gives him an engaging depth. I took further satisfaction Francis's choice of villians: men who destroy beauty to make money on building ugly houses. He shows them as the villians I feel them to be. The narrator does a wonderful job.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Houston, TX, United States 06-24-12
    David Houston, TX, United States 06-24-12 Member Since 2008

    Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving. Love the reviews.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Deceptively effortless grace"

    The genius of Dick Francis lay in his ability to deal with chilling, even grotesque violence and the most visceral of emotions with the kind of sure handed restraint that a great jockey uses to bring a hurtling thoroughbred safely and even stylishly through a madly jostling pack to the finished line and the winner's circle. He created heart stopping action sequences, psychological horror scenes and suspense which is sustained far past what should be the breaking point and did it all in an understated tone which would not be out of place at high tea. The result is an exquisite tension. He also had a habit of constructing action sequences which feature intelligent improvisation from his hero rather than brute force or unerring marksmanship.

    Sid Halley is one of the few leading characters who recur in Francis's books, and it is easy to see why he returned to him several times. This outing introduces the injured steeple chase jockey turned investigator, and half way through listening I had already resolved to read all the other books in which he appears. His working class roots, athlete's resilient tenacity and chess player's mind are a fascinating combination. If you have not read anything by Dick Francis, this is as good a place as any to begin.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimberly Indianapolis, IN, United States 05-31-12
    Kimberly Indianapolis, IN, United States 05-31-12 Member Since 2008

    Love reading. Love listening.

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    "Classic"

    I always enjoy Dick Francis novels. His characters and plots are interesting. I have always loved the character of Sid Halley with his tragic past. He's very well-rounded. The peripheral characters play important roles, not just window dressing. The plot of Odds Against is compelling, and if you don't know a lot about the British racing world, well, you'll learn a bit. The end had an interesting twist, because even though you know what's going on, you don't know the whole of it.
    I also enjoy listening to Tony Britton. He keeps the story moving without being overly emotive.
    Overall, if you enjoy a nice suspense story, you'll like this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Douglas, Ga. 07-30-12
    Amazon Customer Douglas, Ga. 07-30-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Hard to Go Wrong with Dick Francis!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Odds Against to be better than the print version?

    Nothing is better than the print version; however, I find I am turning more and more to audio versions due to convenience. I spend so much time in my car that having audio books is wonderful! I also love to listen to books as I do my walking each day.

    I have the books downloaded to my Android phone and that is one thing that ALWAYS goes with me!


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Although there are some of Dick Francis' books that are a little better than the others, you can't go wrong reading (or listening) to Dick Francis.

    Odds Against is one of the best! I love all the books that feature the character Sid Halley!


    What about Tony Britton’s performance did you like?

    His reading of the book was expressive and vintage Francis! His tone keeps you interested.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Murray, UT, United States 03-30-12
    Susan Murray, UT, United States 03-30-12 Member Since 2011

    My favorite books are thriller/mystery series...such as John Sandford, Jonathan Kellerman, Patricia Cornwell, etc.. Also like sci-fi.

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    "LOVE DICK FRANCIS"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Odds Against to be better than the print version?

    I have always liked audio books better because of my poor eyesight-but have read this book and couldn't put it down!


    What did you like best about this story?

    Characters


    What about Tony Britton’s performance did you like?

    I think he is the best British narrator..wish all Dick Francis' books were narrated by him.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    no-just enjoyed it.


    Any additional comments?

    i would like to see all of Dick francis' books on audible.com-I don't know why just a few are not? For instance Forfeit and Comeback!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Tomball, TX, United States 02-25-12
    Michael Tomball, TX, United States 02-25-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Good Dick Francis Novel Well Done"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. Good story, well narrated. (Could be better, but it's only one person narrating!!) I was glued to it. Maybe I should give it and the narration a 5?


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters had good values. Well, at least the good characters did. And the main character was practical, driven, and morally ambitious. More horses, though!!!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    browngeoff Dartmouth, NS Canada 02-12-12
    browngeoff Dartmouth, NS Canada 02-12-12 Member Since 2006
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    "Very enjoyable audio book"
    Any additional comments?

    I rarely write a review but, for this audio book, I'll make an exception. The writing style of Dick Francis is superb. In this novel, the plot unfolds perfectly. The tension builds gradually but with twists that never seem laboured. All the characters have charming, believable idiosyncrasies. The narrator, Tony Britton, gets top marks for capturing the sly subtlety of Dick Francis's writing style. Tony has an amazing ability to shift his voice for each character. The analog-digital conversion was a little sloppy but caused me only minor annoyance. At some points, the pitch of the voice changes; no big deal.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 14 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • David
    Uttoxeter, United Kingdom
    11/21/07
    Overall
    "Another good one"

    Dick Francis is brilliant. This (I think) is the first Sid Halley novel; it starts well and then improves; its the first time I've given 5 stars to a book for a while! If you like Dick Francis you will love this.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Frances
    Tooting Bec, London, United Kingdom
    10/30/09
    Overall
    "The First Outing of the Best Francis Character"

    This is the book that first introduces the reader/listener to Sid Halley, the character generally considered to be Francis' finest. The sequal to this book, "Whip Hand" certainly won a whole plethera of awards. It's a great book. The characters are real and frequently flawed and twisted and the storyline is gritty and compulsive. Why didn't I score it 5 stars? The sound quality of the recording isn't great but it's not bad enough to spoil your fun.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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