Dick Francis’s Damage

Felix Francis. Putnam, $26.95 (400p) ISBN 978-0-399-16822-2
Francis’s fourth solo outing (after 2013’s Dick Francis’s Refusal) ranks with the best of his late father’s thrillers set in the British horse racing world. At the Cheltenham Racetrack in Gloucestershire, Jeff Hinkley, an investigator for the British Horseracing Authority, spots ex-trainer Matthew Unwin, who’s been barred from the track for horse doping. Unwin approaches a bookie and, without warning, slashes the man’s throat. The murder is open-and-shut, though Unwin’s motive is unclear. Meanwhile, an extortionist, who calls himself Leonardo, reveals that he was responsible for drugging almost all the horses who raced in the Gold Cup, and demands £5 million in exchange for not destroying the integrity of the sport. Jeff takes on the job of stopping Leonardo, but he must also deal with a family illness and a narcotics charge against his sister’s stepson. The compelling main storyline deserves high marks for originality—no mean feat given the almost 50 novels the author’s father wrote. Agent: Philippa Brophy, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/25/2014
Release date: 10/07/2014
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 448 pages - 978-0-425-27624-2
Hardcover - 535 pages - 978-1-4104-7136-9
Paperback - 978-1-59413-817-1
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