Silks ), a taut crime thriller, features an especially sympathetic hero. Bookmaker Ed Talb"/>

Even Money

Dick Francis, Author, Felix Francis, Author
Dick Francis, Author, Felix Francis, Author . Putnam $26.95 (368p) ISBN 978-0-399-15591-8
Reviewed on: 06/29/2009
Release date: 08/01/2009
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The third collaboration between bestseller Francis and son Felix (after Silks ), a taut crime thriller, features an especially sympathetic hero. Bookmaker Ed Talbot is struggling with his wife's mental illness, even as technology threatens to give the big bookmaking outfits an insurmountable advantage over his small family business. Soon after a man shows up at Ascot and identifies himself as Ed's father, Peter, whom Ed believed long dead, a thug demanding money stabs Peter to death. Ed is in for even more shocks when he learns his father was the prime suspect in his mother's murder—and that Peter's killing, rather than a random act of violence, may be linked to a mysterious electronic device used in some horse-racing fraud. Ed must juggle his amateur investigations into past and present crimes with his demanding family responsibilities. Though some readers may find the ending overly pat, the authors make bookmaking intelligible while easily integrating it into the plot. (Aug.)