Book info

Slay Ride (2004)

Slay Ride (2004)
Author
Rating
3.72 of 5 Votes: 5
ISBN
0425196739 (ISBN13: 9780425196731)
languge
English
publisher
berkley
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Slay Ride (2004)
Slay Ride (2004)

About book: What is there to say about Dick Francis? As I think about all of his books (yes, this review covers all of his books, and yes I've read them all) I think about a moral ethical hero, steeped in intelligence and goodness embroiled in evil machinations within British horse racing society - either directly or indirectly. The heroes aren't always horse jockies, they can be film producers, or involve heroes engaged in peripheral professions that somehow always touch the horse racing world.But more than that, Francis's heroes are rational human beings. The choices made are rational choices directed by a firm objective philosophy that belies all of Francis's novels. The dialogue is clear and touched with humor no matter the intensity of evil that the hero faces. The hero's thoughts reveal a vulnerability that is touching, while his actions are always based on doing the right thing to achieve justice. Causing the reader to deeply care about the characters in a novel is a difficult thing to do. No such worries in a Francis novel. The point of view is first person, you are the main character as you read the story (usually the character of Mr. Douglas). The hero is personable, like able, non-violent but delivering swift justice with his mind rather than through physical means. This is not to say that violence is a stranger to our hero. Some of it staggering and often delivered by what we would think of normal persons living in British society.You will come to love the world of Steeple Chase racing, you will grow a fondness for horses, stables, trainers and the people who live in that world. You will read the books, devouring one after the other and trust me Dick Francis has a lot of novels (over 40 by my last count).There are several series woven into the fabric of Francis's work: notably the Sid Halley and Kit Fielding series.Assessment: Dick Francis is one of my favorite writers. I read his books with a fierce hunger that remains insatiable and I mourn his death.

David Cleveland, Jockey Club investigator, has come over to find an English jockey who has disappeared with a day's racing entry fees. But he finds more than a jockey - he finds serious trouble, with several attempts being made on his life. People are not what they seem to be, and the motives are very confusing...Strange that this book is 36 years old - it still reads fresh. Most of it is a corker, too, with crisp clear writing, tension, thrills, humour, good dialogue and small tidy packages of quick-draw perfectly formed personalities. Four stars, as the ending, I feel is not quite up to the rest of the story.Yes, this is a thriller/detective story set in the horse-racing world, but it is also a very intelligent book
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Reviews
Algernon
Another solid thriller in the Dick Francis collection. There's not much actual riding in this one, but the mystery part is a step above the usual fare from Francis. THis time the setting is the racing world of Norway and an investigation into the disapearance of a visiting English jockey. The cast of characters is well contouerd and includes some staples of the author: the introverted, smart young man with a stubborn streak and a strong sense of justice, the bullying industrial magnates, the affable rich patrons of the racetrack, the vulnerable love interest, the dangerous henchmen, etc. THe strength of the book is really in the gripping narrative, it took me just one afternoon to read through.
Sue
David Cleveland, investigator with the British Jockey Club is summoned to Oslo Norway to look into the disappearance of jockey Bob Sherman. It seems several bags of money are missing as well, with all fingers pointing at Bob as the thief. Bob's dead body is located and then the search is on to figure out who killed Bob and why. To complicate matters, someone clearly doesn't want David investigating and seeks to have him dead as well. Re-read in 2012. Had a hard time following this one and keeping names straight. Didn't enjoy it as much as the others I've read.
Ariane
I started reading Dick Francis after a chance encounter with an abridged version of Bolt which I found in an old Reader's Digest tome. I loved the male protagonist, Kit, in that story and figured that I should give more of Francis' books a try.Slay Ride takes place in Norway and is about a missing English jockey who stole a large amount of money from a Norwegian racing club. Though it took a while for me to get into the story, it turned out to be a fairly quick read. I liked the protagonist, not as much as the one in Bolt, but well enough. Francis' writing style is very engaging and easy to read. The characters were well fleshed out. The only thing really lacking was the denouement of the chemistry between the jockey's wife and the protagonist.
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