10 lb. Penalty

Dick Francis, Author Putnam $24.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-399-14302-1
He may be turning 77 this year, but Francis (To the Hilt) narrates his new thriller through the eyes of a 17-year-old without missing a step--and, as usual, offers a mini-course in a slightly arcane profession along the way. The profession is British politics. The youth is Ben Juliard, who plans to spend his ""gap year"" (between school and university) as an amateur steeplechase jockey. His benevolent but disapproving millionaire father, George, arranges for Ben to be fired, however, and to help him win a by-election to replace a deceased member of Parliament. Having conquered London's financial City, George has designs on Disraeli's greasy pole and wants Ben to be ""a sort of substitute wife. To come with me in public. To be terribly nice to people."" Despite determined enemies (the ambitious widow of the dead legislator, her eminence grise adviser and a sleazy reporter out for dirt on anyone), and three possible attacks on the Juliards (shooting, car sabotage, arson), George prevails in the vote. Five years later, he's a popular cabinet minister (for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food), while Ben has found happiness working in racing insurance and as a successful steeplechaser. A cabinet crisis makes George a leading contender for prime minister, and Ben worries that the unknown previous assailants will try again. They do but, despite some dicey moments, Ben prevails, although not without suffering a major loss. As usual in a Francis novel, the sweetest parts are about family; here, especially the growing love and understanding between father and son. The villains aren't particularly scary, but this smooth, nimbly paced charmer isn't really about bad people anyway, but about how the rest of us cope and live, sometimes in their shadow. BOMC main selection. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1997
Release date: 09/01/1997
Show other formats
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-399-14347-2
Hardcover - 294 pages - 978-1-56895-525-4
Mass Market Paperbound - 306 pages - 978-0-515-12347-0
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-101-00480-7
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 320 pages - 978-1-101-00540-8
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-101-00720-4
Compact Disc - 978-0-7366-6059-4
Mass Market Paperbound - 320 pages - 978-0-425-19745-5
Hardcover - 320 pages - 978-0-515-12381-4
Hardcover - 320 pages - 978-0-330-37001-1
Hardcover - 272 pages - 978-0-7181-4245-2
Hardcover - 978-0-14-086723-7
Hardcover - 978-0-7540-5486-3
Hardcover - 978-0-7540-0153-9
Hardcover - 320 pages - 978-1-4059-1685-1
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.