On the first day of Royal Ascot, the crowd rejoices in a string of winning favorites. Ned Talbot has worked all his life as a bookmaker - taking over the family business from his grandfather - so he knows not to expect any sympathy from the punters as they count their winnings, and him his losses. He's seen the ups and downs before - but, as the big gambling conglomerates muscle in on small concerns like his, Ned wonders if it's worth it any more.
When a grey-haired man steps forward from the crowd, claiming to be his father, Ned's life is thrown into further turmoil. He'd been told since he was a baby that his parents had died in a car crash.
Barely an hour later, his newly found father is stabbed by an unknown assailant in the Ascot car park. Blood oozing from his abdomen, his father warns Ned to "be very careful." But of whom? Of what? Ned finds himself in a race to solve his father's riddle, a race where coming in second could cost him more than even money, it could cost him his life ...
©2009 Dick Francis (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.
As always a good tale well told although I thought the narration made the main character appear middle aged and frumpy rather than a bloke in his 30's. His handle on the mental health issues were spot on. Well done!
I enjoyed story but as much as I like Tony Britton as a narrator for other books he was not appropriate for this character. it made the following of the characters story incongruent. as the age and energy of the character and voice narrative where too far apart. Therefore it lacks for the recommention I would have liked to have goven.
I love the early Dick Francis novels and usually prefer Tony Britton reading them but his voice is sadly now too old for the main character. The story was fairly interesting but did not excite me as much as the early books, which always got on with the plot a lot quicker. Now, they seem to take ages getting nowhere.
Yes I would however this particular book should have been read by a much younger person than Tony Britton. I had to keep reminding myself that the main character, Ned Talbot was only 37 years old. I have enjoyed all the Dick Francis books so far and would happily listen/read more.
Great story as always from Dick Francis, unfortunately the audio book was spoilt for me by the elderly narrator. The story is told in the first person who is in his mid thirties and read by a gentleman in his late seventies which rather spoils the atmosphere somewhat.
"One of the cleaner ones."
This is pretty clean sex wise. It doesn't go into as much detail as some of the other ones. There is still some swearing in it though. At lease 3 f words.
"on the money"
it is good i like the style of dick francis and the racing scene they get you hooked
they help to understand the race industry of unscruples characters
yes i think he has a good insight into the racing life
nothing tony britton always doe,s a great job
"Reassuringly 'decent' characters"
Desite the odd murder and person of evil intent, the Dick Francis books are a consistently and reassuringly the England of a few decades ago: the dramas of the racecourse (never attended one in my life and never likely to, so this is a new world) and traditions of basic decency being upheld.
This book held my interest throughout, the characters are alive and entertaining and it culminated in an unrushed and satisfying conclusion.
And speaking of old boys, I always find the voice of Tony Britton, excellent reader that he is, much older than the late thirty something that is required in the Francis books. Also, his women's voices leave a lot to be desired. But for all that, his moderate and thoughtful tone underscores the world and its values that are being evoked.
"Dreadful start, Great finish"
I haven't read it.
Very depressing first 3 hours. I also didn't relate to him as he makes bad decisions. I love Dick Francis so I assumed it would get better. The last hour is great and exciting and very positive.
It become a good story, but I wouldn't recommend it as it took too long to get into.
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