There are two worlds in racing: winning and losing. Private detective Sid Halley has gone from one to the other - fast. First his career as a jockey ended when he lost his hand in a fall. Then his wife said a cold goodbye. Now he’s on the trail of thugs who crush losers with vicious pleasure.
These are people who aim to win at any price. There’s a syndicate of owners with a sideline in violent kidnapping. For the sake of his health, Halley had better return to winning ways. Because to lose is to die.
©1979 Dick Francis; (P)1989 Chivers Audio Books
Having just finished this book I still feel the melancholy with which it was written. The book is a good piece of literature, I want to say that up front so as to not dissuade someone from listening to it. The dialog is good and Francis has a skill at turning a phrase, the story moves along well and is entertaining. Loss and melancholy are such a part of this story though that as the end unfolds you wish for some extra heroics, a chance to cheer for the underdog, but alas, it ends with the same vibe it carries all along, a bit of sadness, a bit of victory. I will read another Francis story sometime, I am glad I read this one, but not right now.
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?
Ive read it twice, it was wonderful to listen to it! Absolutely would listen to it agai
Brilliant narrator, however at times the audio fades in and out a bit and appears that the narrator changes
Mmmmm. No idea not my strong suit
Wished they would write another Sid Halley! I've read them all and just love them all. My absolute best of Dick Francis
Listening to books is the best. I love almost all genres, but romance is my favorite, and rom-com is my preference there.
Dick Francis wrote 4 novels featuring Sid Halley as the protagonist, and this is my favorite. The thing I like best about him is that there is that deep conflict between what he was as a jockey, and what he has become as an investigator. There is the love/anger feeling he feels toward his ex-wife. The character goes deeper than the usual mystery/suspense. Okay, the character is himself through all the novels, but it's his reaction or growth that grabs you.
As far as the plot, I enjoyed this one because it was smooth, in spite of some peripheral characters that don't seem to fit, but end up fitting very well.
Tony Britton is a wonderful narrator. The listener can hear the difference in class of each character, as well as how he/she relates to the world (hard, timid, brave, etc). Definitely give this Dick Francis a listen.
Great story as you would expect from Dick Francis. Very clever narration, Tony has a very listenable voice. Having some connection with the race horse industry the story rings true and keeps you on the edge of your seat right from the start.
I listen in the car while driving and I found myself continuing to listen long after I arrived at my destination. Strongly recommended.
Another Dick Francis Classic. Great with a fast moving engaging plot, a page turner,a great companion for anyone.
"good story but narration speeds up"
I like Dick and Felix francis' stories and always read them
this was a compelling read. This is a medium action mystery adventure that is hard to stop listening to
tony britton is great but the production of the narration speeds up about halfway through and even when using "slower" on ipod the second part is at a higher speed and pitch
it has a follow up
having been a fan of Dick Francis for almost 20 years now, I whave read and re read all of his books. The narrative form has ticked every box, when reading we enter our own imagination. The narrator has his voices down to a tee. I throughly recomennd to any one. five stars.
"Another Dick Francis spectacular"
Exciting and surprising. Another great Sid Horley adventure.
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