Guilty Not Guilty: A Dick Francis Novel

Felix Francis. Putnam, $27 (384p) ISBN 978-0-525-53679-6
Bestseller Francis’s plodding fifth solo addition to his father’s horse-racing series (after 2018’s Crisis) has only a tangential connection to the turf. The Hon. William Gordon-Russell, a self-employed actuary who prefers to be called plain old Bill Russell, is preparing for his duties as a racetrack steward when he receives some devastating news: his beloved wife, Amelia, has been discovered strangled in their Oxfordshire home. Bill’s brother-in-law, Joe Bradbury, accuses Bill of the crime, and the police make him their prime suspect on the theory that he killed Amelia to collect on her life insurance. Bill, in turn, believes that Joe, who found the body and who’d sent Amelia threatening and harassing emails, is the murderer. After Bill is brought in for questioning, he becomes a pariah and sets out to prove his innocence and Joe’s guilt. Suspension of disbelief is lessened by such details as Bill believing, inaccurately, that leading questions are impermissible on cross-examination. The twist ending will surprise few mystery fans. That Francis has done much better work in the past suggests that a return to form is possible. Agent: Ed Wilson, Johnson & Alcock (U.K.). (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 09/11/2019
Release date: 10/08/2019
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Library Binding - 978-1-4328-7187-1
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