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Summary

Six years ago, investigator Sid Halley retired for good. He’d been harassed, beaten, shot, even lost a hand to his investigating business, and enough was enough. For the sake of his wife and new daughter he gave up that life of danger and uncertainty, and he thought nothing would ever lure him back into the game. He thought wrong.

Sir Richard Stewart, chairman of the racing authority, begs Sid to investigate a series of dodgy races. Sid adamantly refuses, but the following day, Sir Richard is found dead under suspicious circumstances. And then a man with an Irish accent contacts Sid, telling him to deliver a whitewashed report about the suspected race-fixing...or else.

At first Sid ignores these warnings, knowing that once he submits to this criminal bully, he will forever be under his control. But as the intimidation tactics escalate - and Sid’s own family comes under threat - Sid realises he must meet his enemy head-on...or he might pay the ultimate price for his refusal.

©2013 Felix Francis (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic reviews

"This is fascinating reading on every level, from the neatly calibrated plot, moving from suspense to terror, to all the details of the racing world Francis provides. Halley is now, as before, an utterly complex, interest-holding character. And the final, moral turn that Francis makes of “refusal” is brilliant. A heroic return for Sid Halley." ( Booklist)
"Francis successfully resurrects one of his late father’s most popular creations and only series character—disabled jockey–turned–PI Sid Halley... Longtime fans will be hard put to tell this gripping thriller from the senior Francis’s work." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Dreadful pastiche of the Dick Francis style

What disappointed you about Refusal?

No sense of action like the originals, the 'hero' agonises in tiresome internal self-questioning monologues for minutes at a time where a true Dick Francis hero would have just got on with it and allowed his internal confusion to be inferred.

What was most disappointing about Felix Francis’s story?

the result is that the whole book is interminably slow and has me practically shouting 'get on with it'.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Martin Jarvis's droll voice, perfectly suited to the Just William stories, which he made his own in an admittedly idiosyncratic way, is just not remotely suited to what ought to be a pacy thriller. It simply compounds the book's weakness.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Refusal?

All the internal monologues.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Story good, narrator disappointing

Another fast paced and enjoyable Sid Halley story from the Francis stable, if sometimes seeming more laboured than the original ones.

I did not like the narration though, not varied enough and the Michael Caine imitation voice of the police inspector drove me mad!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant novel, Brilliant narrator!

Loved this fast-paced, beautifully read novel!! Have already downloaded my next Dick Francis, read by Martin Jarvis, and already searching for other books read by Martin Jarvis! Listened to Refusal over two days: addictive! Paused only to sleep, shop and work!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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good old sid

another great sid story let's hope there are some more.. brilliant story writing well done

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Gripping!

Loved the story. Took me a while to get use to the narrator's voice portrayal of Marina.. sounded more like Victor Meldrew!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A brilliant Sid Halley book

From start to finish well paced & kept my interest. A further installment of the Sid Halley series worthy of it's place. Recommended.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Dick Francis modernised!

Although slower to start than most DF adventures, the pace soon picked up and the story was gripping. It was good to hear Sidcup Halley using a mobile phone and still managing to keep us in suspense! Martin Jarvis did a great range of voices.

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    4 out of 5 stars

exciting and entertaining

This story was entertaining and exciting. It was not quite as good as an original Dick Francis novel

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not bad

This book has a reasonable story line and conclusion with as always good winning out over evil. Although v similar to Dicks books I find Francis s lack something that I can't quite put my finger on and this is one of those.
Sids wife in the prior books was feisty and strong but in this so wet I forgot I had met her before. Part of the story line appeared superfluous but it may have been there to allow a further Sid Halley episode to be written. Not a bad listen but not brilliant either.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Not the best

Just found this book repetitive with long explanations of things which were really not interesting. The story was far fetched and not great also felt the end was rushed . Read better

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  • Tracey
  • 22-09-14

refusal

What made the experience of listening to Refusal the most enjoyable?

felix and dick francis book are a good listen the narrator brings the book to life

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

it was interesting good story plot

What about Martin Jarvis’s performance did you like?

very similar to tony britton in the reading style

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

refuse and you die

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • KBP
  • 26-06-14

Not his father

Dick Francis combined good plots, growing characters, excellent research on engaging topics, and excellent writing to produce easy reads that left readers satisfied. His son tries to copy his formula, but falls short on every single aspect. Sid Halley, Charles and Marina were complex and multifaceted and grew through the books, but stagnated here. The plots meandered. And the transplantation component was a sideline, so the research didn't come through.
In general, this book was a negative to the Francis brand, and even though Martin Jarvis is a good reader, he couldn't make up for the fact that the book was just poor.
I will read Felix's next attempt, because his father's legacy is good to continue. But if that is only twice as good as this one, I won't read the one after that.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful