With this New York Times best seller, Dick Francis creates an intoxicating blend of the good life, fast horses, and nail-biting suspense.
After a shattering accident plunges a society soiree into chaos, an unassuming wine merchant is left with the bitter aftertaste of suspicion and fear. While catering an outdoor party for a prominent horse trainer, Tony Beach hears rumors of inferior whisky being sold under premium labels. All of that is forgotten, however, when a runaway horse trailer suddenly ploughs into the guest-filled tent. Later, after the last victim is pulled from the debris, he begins searching for answers to both the fraudulent spirits and the disaster. As Tony follows up leads, he finds himself pulled deeper and deeper into a treacherous world filled with greed, deception, and unspeakable murder.
Incomparable storyteller Dick Francis grabs your attention on page one and keeps you riveted throughout to the smashing finish. With narrator Simon Prebble’s dramatic timing and superb accents, you’ll find Proof a vintage mystery to be savored.
©1985 Dick Francis (P)1999 Recorded Books, LLC
I wanted to give this author a try. So now I’ve read two of his books and I’m done. He’s just not for me. He writes straight mystery. I want more interesting characters, relationship development, and dialogue. There was potential for Tony and the private detective Gerard to be unusual or have an interesting relationship, but that wasn’t done.
This is a story about a good guy investigating, being in danger, eventually figuring out the mystery, and catching the bad guys. The liquor store owner Tony is asked to help the cops and a private detective Gerard by taste testing beverages to determine fakes. Yet Tony is the one who figures things out and catches the bad guys using his brain with some bravery. Tony is smarter-and-better-at-detecting than the detectives. Ok I should accept that. This is the hero. But for some reason I wasn’t intrigued. A couple of times I was annoyed with good guys doing something stupid which put them in danger. A couple of times Tony discovered something and tried to call the cops or Gerard, but they weren’t there, so he had to wait before he could pass on information - hmmm more suspense. This just didn’t do it for me. It was written nearly thirty years ago. I believe Francis is/was a popular author. I wonder if it was because there weren’t as many authors back then doing what’s being done today. I’ve been spoiled by current mystery suspense authors such as Michael Connelly, John Grisham, Stieg Larsson, and others. With this author I feel like I’m doing a jigsaw puzzle - find the pieces, put them together, after a few hours you are done - something to do when there’s nothing else to do.
The narrator Simon Prebble has a British accent. He was ok but not great. As far as British accented narrators go, I prefer Eve Matheson.
Ending: good guys win.
Genre: mystery suspense.
if you don't know anything about wine processing or buying you would be quite bored. It goes into a lot of detail on this as the story is being told.
The background of the main character which is revealed a little at a time.
Dead Heat. The reason is that the main hero of the book is also unjustly accused of poisoning people with his food.
The one where the main hero persuade his companion in accusation that they can walk out of this with honor.
I already have! Just wrote a blog piece about how incredibly wonderful these Simon Prebble narrations of Dick Francis's books are! I am so in love, or should I say, falling in love all over again with these stories. I have been totally entranced, and often want to prolong my morning walk so I can listen further. ;o)
I loved the whole background them of wine and whiskey, but what completely captivated me was Francis's well-drawn character of Tony Beech, who suffered deeply for many terrible reasons, but who put on a brave face in spite of his losses and insecurities. I found Prebble's interpretation of this character's most inner thoughts to be masterful. I'm still sad that it's all over...
Tony Beech - by far. Francis portrayed him subtly - yet it was so poignant, and so nicely meshed with the mystery that there was no distraction from suspense or feeling of "why are we going here?" The revelations - beautifully done - were spaced perfectly within the action/mystery.
When Tony Beech, British wine merchant, witnesses a tragic accident during a high-society garden party, he is drawn into a world of treachery and danger with enough twists and turns to satisfy the most gourmet mystery fan.
I wish I could shake Mr. Prebble's hand. He is simply brilliant.
Learning about wine & scotch
Tony Beech, for sure
The tone of his voice was able to reflect emotion very well
Just a very good "read"!!
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