Six years ago, investigator Sid Halley retired for good. He’d been harassed, beaten, shot, even lost a hand to his investigating business, and enough was enough. For the sake of his wife and new daughter he gave up that life of danger and uncertainty, and he thought nothing would ever lure him back into the game. He thought wrong.
Sir Richard Stewart, chairman of the racing authority, begs Sid to investigate a series of dodgy races. Sid adamantly refuses, but the following day, Sir Richard is found dead under suspicious circumstances. And then a man with an Irish accent contacts Sid, telling him to deliver a whitewashed report about the suspected race-fixing...or else.
At first Sid ignores these warnings, knowing that once he submits to this criminal bully, he will forever be under his control. But as the intimidation tactics escalate - and Sid’s own family comes under threat - Sid realises he must meet his enemy head-on...or he might pay the ultimate price for his refusal.
©2013 Felix Francis (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
"This is fascinating reading on every level, from the neatly calibrated plot, moving from suspense to terror, to all the details of the racing world Francis provides. Halley is now, as before, an utterly complex, interest-holding character. And the final, moral turn that Francis makes of “refusal” is brilliant. A heroic return for Sid Halley." (Booklist)
"Francis successfully resurrects one of his late father’s most popular creations and only series character—disabled jockey–turned–PI Sid Halley... Longtime fans will be hard put to tell this gripping thriller from the senior Francis’s work." (Publishers Weekly)
Dick Francis combined good plots, growing characters, excellent research on engaging topics, and excellent writing to produce easy reads that left readers satisfied. His son tries to copy his formula, but falls short on every single aspect. Sid Halley, Charles and Marina were complex and multifaceted and grew through the books, but stagnated here. The plots meandered. And the transplantation component was a sideline, so the research didn't come through.
In general, this book was a negative to the Francis brand, and even though Martin Jarvis is a good reader, he couldn't make up for the fact that the book was just poor.
I will read Felix's next attempt, because his father's legacy is good to continue. But if that is only twice as good as this one, I won't read the one after that.
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