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4.0 out of 5 starsA good read
Reviewed in Canada on November 29, 2014
Lots of excitement, with murder right at the start. It did leave me with some questions about why the author had people do certain things - some details were not tidied up. I feel that Felix Francis' writing has improved over his previous solo books.
4.0 out of 5 starsGood read, but not quite as gripping as I would have liked
Reviewed in Canada on January 12, 2015
Felix has taken up the gauntlet and the challenge laid down by his father, and continues to write racing-oriented mysteries that are easy to read and entertaining. This one was a wee bit of a mixed bag for me, alas. The plot is fine, and the focus on the main character from the other side of racing, the BHA, was interesting and informative. The story moves along, although I found the secondary plot interfering more with the primary than I would have liked. The story is well written, no doubt, but for me this book didn't catch me the same way Felix' earlier books have done. The last three books I read of his I devoured quickly, but this one I ended up reading bits and pieces, with no real desire to have an extended reading session to finish the book. Perhaps it's the narrative, perhaps the story, but most likely the writing just didn't hook me the way previous books did.
That doesn't mean this isn't an entertaining and worthwhile read: it is. It's just the "must read one more chapter" wasn't there, and exactly why I can't identify clearly. Instead of one big missing piece, I suspect it's a combination of several little things, and while I did enjoy the novel, I found it a bit of a let-down from the last two. It's still a four-star read, but alas I can't give it the extra star.
3.0 out of 5 starsFrancis Repairs Damage After Refusal
Reviewed in Canada on October 19, 2014
"Damage" is a much better effort than the previous book "Refusal", and faithfully follows the Francis Formula. Fans will like it. It may be time for a fresh setting, since the British horse racing scene seems to be getting a bit stale. What about South Africa? You could call it "Braai."
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 8, 2015
This was good, but could have been so much better. On the minus side, there were lots of minor characters, not always that well drawn, which meant that it was difficult to remember who was who. The main character is supposed to be 30, yet seemed to be having a mid-life crisis. It was well written and I could sympathize with his worries, but I just couldn't picture him as the age he is supposed to be. Finally the ending seemed rushed and unconvincing. I won't give the plot away, but the rush to phone a journalist while people you care about are still in the middle of a truly traumatic experience didn't ring true at all. On the plus side, the sub-plot was moving and for anyone who has had the trauma of seeing a loved one undergo treatment for cancer, very close to home. The plot was gripping and I liked the hero. I didn't guess the identity of the person behind the plotting, but then again Felix Francis was playing his cards very close to his chest with the information he gave away, so we are as much in the dark as the hero, which adds to our identification with him. I would recommend this book, but I wouldn't want to read it again.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 26, 2016
I have, many years ago, read all the original Dick Francis books and viewed this read with some trepidation! I am pleased to say I was very pleasantly surprised and thoroughly enjoyed the read. Having been involved with horses all my life and on the fringes of the Racing world it was of particular interest and I found it to be both well written and well researched, a very informative read with enough suspense to keep the reader wanting more at the end of each Chapter. I am looking forward to my next visit to this Author's work
2.0 out of 5 starsHas Felix Francis lost the plot?
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 17, 2015
A disappointing read, I would say.There is minimal action, and a rather flat ending with a pointless death. Francis seems to have become too keen on showing his aptitude for research and sacrificed the usual tension required in the crime genre. In fact, although I read it quite recently, it was so tedious that I've forgotten the story already One can only hope that Felix Francis's touch returns later on this year, or I won't be buying any more volumes to add to my complete Dick and Felix Francis collection.
I am in the process of collecting all Dick Francis novels including those with his son Felix and the ones written by him following his father's death. I adore them they are well researched and with lot's of details. The narrative, for me, makes them difficult to put down as you just want to read on. I have a background of involvement with many types of horses including thoroughbred racehorses & although the novels are not always linked directly to racing & horses they still are up there with some of the top crime writers.
3.0 out of 5 starswho has read it says that it is not as good as previous novels by the Francis Family
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 7, 2014
My wife, who reads quicker than me, who has read it says that it is not as good as previous novels by the Francis Family. She was of the opinion that it consisted of a number of previous scenarios re-hashed to compile a book.