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Publisher's Summary

After a six-year absence from the bestseller lists, Dick Francis roared out of the gate with 2006's Under Orders, demonstrating once again every ounce of his famed narrative drive, brilliant plotting, and simmering suspense. Hard on the heels of that triumph comes Dead Heat, set against the backdrop of Britain's famed 2,000 Guineas Stakes.

Max Moreton is a rising culinary star and his Newmarket restaurant, The Hay Net, has brought him great acclaim and a widening circle of admirers. But when nearly all the guests who enjoyed one of his meals at a private catered affair fall victim to severe food poisoning, his kitchen is shuttered and his reputation takes a hit. Scrambling to meet his next obligation, an exclusive luncheon for 40 in the glass-fronted private boxes at the 2,000 Guineas, Max must overcome the previous evening's disaster and provide the new American sponsors of the year's first classic race with a day to remember.

Then a bomb blast rips through the private boxes, killing some of Max's trusted staff as well as many of the guests. As survivors are rushed to the hospital, Max is left to survey the ruins of the grandstand: and of his career. Two close calls are too close for comfort, and Max vows to protect his name, and himself, before it's too late.

©2007 Dick Francis Corporation (P)2007 Penguin Audio, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Crisp writing and well-paced action." ( Publishers Weekly)

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Surprise! Dead Heat refers to the Oven!

Love this one. Our hero is a chef with a restaurant (but near a race track-ha!) Love the twist. Love the narration. And again, the Francis men never disappoint with the great clean writing, interesting plots, excellent narrators, and best of all, the skillful great characterization of everyone in the stories. This is no exception. This one has a modern update with terrorism. Enjoy!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Another Very Interesting Story

This story is very creative and unique. As described in the publisher's summary, this story is centered around the culinary world with a bit of the horse racing world as its backdrop, and is centered around the 2000 Guineas Stakes.

Chaos breaks out when nearly all of the 40 guests, at a private catered affair, who ate a particular meal fell victim to severe food poisoning, including the owner-chef.

A very entertaining story. As always Simon Prebble performed very well.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Liz
  • Boulder,CO
  • 09-26-07

Dead Heat

I have listened to many Dick Francis audio books, this one followed the same formula and was as enjoyable as his earlier works.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Sandra
  • Boston, MA, USA
  • 03-29-08

Not Dick Francis's best

I think Dick Francis should write by himself. Narrator was not the best.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Needs Work

This was a disappointing effort for Dick Francis. The plot was loose, the deductions were wild leaps that hadn't been well set up, and the customary Francis wit is missing. Add to that, the usual stoic, quiet strength of a typical Francis hero does not come through at all. In fact, the hero sounds distinctly whiny at times, although to be fair I don't know if this is a result of the writing or of the narrator.

Martin Jarvis is a poor replacement for Tony Britton as the reader. His voice is irritating, and he tries too hard to emote when the characters in Francis novels have always been written as very understated. As I said, he often comes across sounding whiny which is what largely ruined the book for me.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Another win; really a good listen

I always enjoy Dick Francis, and the addition of Felix did nothing to mar the experience. My only criticism would be that the voice of the reader, who does wonders with older characters, seemed at odds with this protagonist of less than 35 years old. Inventive story, well done, nice ending.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Better than Under Orders

I was very disappointed with "Under Orders" and questioned at the time who helped him write it. The answer is apparently his son Felix and he is getting better. This one was a little slow to start but in the end was pretty typical Dick Francis. If you are looking for great literature, you will not find it here. But if you are looking for a few entertaining hours, this one does just fine.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Dead Last

There are traces here and there of Dick Francis, who is a consummate writer. I suspect he did a little line editing. If this is, as I suspect, a virgin effort for his son, his father should have been a less tender editor. I am now 2 hours and 40 minutes into this book and there is no trace of a mystery or any indication that there will eventually be a plot. I suggest a good writers' group for young Felix, with people in it who'll be honest about his manuscript's shortcomings. I'm sorry Dick Francis has retired; his son hasn't yet learned enough about plotting and timing to replace him.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Violence and Horse Racing, like Dick Francis

I rated this a 4 of 5 because of grade infladtion around here. really, it is a 3 of 5. IF you like Dick Francis though, this is a 4. The narrator was good, with good british accents, some smarmy, and some snobby, and some upright matrons....

Predictably for a Francis book, there is a fair amount of violence and thoughts of revenge by the star chef at the end of the book. The last two houis were very predictable and boring, but then I dislike suspense while people hide or their lover is tortured. I like the racing, the dialog, and the racing stories.

Felix has added a new tilt to the series as we have chefs and tv personalities for heroes now, not just jockeys and racing authorities.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

such a great story!

i loved this story, such great writing. Its even more enjoyable with a chuckle here & there. I will definitely listen again!