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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author Felix Francis returns with the newest thriller in the Dick Francis tradition.

Jeff Hinkley is back for a third outing. Still a British Horseracing Authority investigator, Jeff has been seconded to the US Federal Anti-Corruption in Sports Agency (FACSA), where he has been asked to find a mole in their organization, an informant who is passing on confidential information to those under suspicion in American racing. Jeff attends the Kentucky Derby with the FACSA team, accompanying the Special Agents on a raid to a horse trainer's barn at Churchill Downs. Things do not go well, and someone ends up dead. Then, on the morning of the derby itself, three of the most favored horses in the field fall sick in what Jeff considers are suspicious circumstances. Jeff goes in search of answers, taking on the undercover role of a groom on the backstretch at Belmont Park racetrack in New York. But he discovers far more than he was bargaining for, finding himself as the meat in the sandwich between FACSA and corrupt individuals who will stop at nothing, including murder, to capture the most elusive prize in world sport: the Triple Crown.

©2016 Felix Francis (P)2016 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 11-17-16

A Fun Read

Over the years I have read many of the Dick Francis books. I have read some of those co-written with Felix. I think this is my second book written by Felix alone. I noted that this is a series, whereas Dick, wrote stand-alone books.

Our protagonist, Jefferson Hinkley, of the British Horseracing Association’s Integrity Service is asked by Tony Andretti, the Deputy director of the Federal Anti-Corruption in Sports Agency, to investigate illegal doping, particularly by a trainer named Adam Mitchell. Andretti thinks there is a mole in his Agency. So, Hinkley goes in undercover during the Triple Crown events. A reporter looking into the issues is murdered.

The book is well written, the plot twists and turns while the suspense increases throughout the story. Francis compares the different customs between the British and American racing. I enjoyed learning some of these different customs and particularly looking at them from the British viewpoint.

Martin Jarvis does a great job narrating the book. Jarvis is an award winning British actor and voice over artist as well as audiobook narrator.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Mike
  • INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA, United States
  • 08-31-17

Dick Francis lives thru Felix

,Great character development with a fresh tale. Reliable Francis seamless setting brought to new light. Professional talent performance enhances vision.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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great read ok porformance

Martin Jarvis rally struggled with the reading in this book. especially his Hispanic who sounded more like a Japanese interpretation. That said I have listened to many of his recordings and this was by far the worst. Wish I could say it was just his Latino characters that suffered in this reading but also his Irish really did not sound much Irish.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Poorly written and researched

I have read all of Dick Francis' books and was a fan. This book is poorly written and has many errors. Law a Enforcement agents don't carry silencers, would not storm a race track barn with guns pulled SWAT team style over allegations of drugging horses, not illegal drugs just not approved for racing. The author portrays Americans as very stupid. The head of a federal agency doesn't know how many o investigate or make d visions, federal agents don't know the death penalty in their own state. Dirty agents not prosecuted because it would look bad. Americans and Hispanics stereotyped.
The name of the historic Seelbach Hotel and others mispronounced.
It was difficult to finish this book it was so amateurish and insulting. I am from Louisville, KY, have been to several Derbies, own racehorses and am an investigator. Clearly Felix spent no time doing research for this book and relied on stereotypes and what he thinks it is like in writing this book. He shares his fathers last name but not his talent.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Terrible book!

Any additional comments?

The plot was ridiculous--the Deputy Director of a Federal (US) law enforcement agency needs a British agent to explain basic security rules/US law/investigative techniques? REALLY? The plot was bad enough, but the author has obvious contempt for everything American--contempt for law enforcement, the racing community, rich people--you name it! In fairness, he was also disparaging of Puerto Rican and Mexicans! The author should set his future books in England.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Tin ear for American syntax

Felix Francis has inherited his Dad's penchant for not quite making his American characters speak like Americans. This book is rife with syntactical tics and the occasional 'car park' for parking lot - nothing new for a Francis novel. Infortunately Martin Jarvis (normally my favorite audiobook narrator) also lacks a credible American accent of any kind - let alone the Mexican, New York and Puerto Rican accents the story requires.

On the other hand, I've never met a horse racing mystery I didn't like, and the actual story didn't disappoint me at all.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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An Excellent American Jeff Hinkley Story!

What Dick Francis delivers in the way of poetic rhythm, his son, Felix Francis delivers in a well-rounded story. I found the story development in Triple Crown to be very well-researched, and intricately woven - particularly as a Maryland/DC resident myself.

And, while this possible sequel to FrontRunner only makes one mention of Hinkley's British girlfriend, Henri, the U.S. Federal Agency and Triple Crown Racetracks are set so well that - like Hinkley,I hardly noticed Henri's absence!

Congratulations on another solid story tied up with a satisfying bow at the end. Thank you Mr. Francis!

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Following the Dick Francis style.

Surprisingly enjoying Felix Francis' books as much as his father's. They are a little different but still thrilling and informative. The Jeff Hinkle character is fine. I plan to keep on reading his books.

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Moderately good writing, terrible narration

It doesn't appear that Felix Francis will ever acquire the writing skills of his father, who started out good and only improved throughout his career. But surely he deserves a more capable narrator than Martin Jarvis, whose rendition I would have given zero stars for if I could have. His exaggerated overblown performance sounds as though he is making fun of the story and the characters, and his inability to render different voices and accents would be laughable if I hadn't paid good money to be subjected to it. I'll probably continue to buy books by Felix Frances because I enjoy reading about British racing. But the likelihood of my ever again buying anything narrated by Martin Jarvis is nil.

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Good, except...

The narrator can't do an American accent. He thinks he can. I had to stop listening. I'll read it.