Front Runner: A Dick Francis Novel

Felix Francis. Putnam, $26.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-399-16823-9
At the start of bestseller Francis’s entertaining second novel featuring British Horseracing Authority investigator Jeff Hinkley (after 2014’s Dick Francis’s Damage), Dave Swinton, a champion steeplechase jockey who’s the public face of the sport, confesses to his friend Jeff that he intentionally lost a race, a breach of the BHA’s rules that could bar him from racing for a decade. Dave refuses to say more, though he later tells Jeff in confidence that he was blackmailed into doing so by a person who threatens to tell the tax authorities that the athlete neglected to report sizable gifts. This makes the situation even more awkward for Jeff, who urges Dave to admit he made an error and pay what he owes to the revenue service. When Dave’s burned corpse turns up in his car in what appears to be a case of suicide, Jeff investigates. Francis again offers an imaginative variant on the racetrack-related thriller plots of his father, Dick. Agent: Ed Wilson, Johnson & Alcock. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/31/2015
Release date: 10/13/2015
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 525 pages - 978-1-4104-8415-4
Hardcover - 416 pages - 978-0-7181-7884-0
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-0-425-27893-2
Paperback - 432 pages - 978-1-4059-1521-2
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