To a jockey, losing his licence is the equivalent of being struck off, or disbarred, or cashiered. When steeplechase rider Kelly Hughes lost his licence, his first feelings were of bewilderment and disbelief, for he was not guilty of the charges. Nor, to the best of his belief, was the trainer he had ridden for, who lost his livelihood as well.
When his first stunned state of shock subsided, Kelly began to wonder why he had been framed, and who had done it, and how it had been achieved. Being fit of body and tough of mind, and seething with disgust at the injustice, he did more than wonder. He began to search.
The nearer he came to a solution the fiercer grew the retaliation. But Kelly had been left with nothing much to lose — the only serious strategic mistake his enemy had made.
Significant in the background of the story is the private trial system common among professional organisations. Without any of the safeguards of the law, a professional trial is perilously vulnerable to malice, misrepresentation, intimidation and prejudice. The administrators of justice depend too much on good faith from everyone. Suppose they don’t get it? Suppose someone realises that the very weaknesses of the system offer a perfect destructive weapon...?
In a racing enquiry the judges are also the prosecutors and the jury, the accused is allowed no legal defendant, the sentences are often of no fixed duration, and there is no appeal. Sometimes it matters very much indeed.
The new Dick Francis is everything his world-wide readers will confidently expect. Like FORFEIT, NERVE and his other best-sellers, it is a first-rate story of me in the racing game; to some of whom both men and horses are expendable when a stupendous gamble is on.
Valentine, a blind, confused and dying old man, seeking his peace with God, makes his last confession to a visiting friend, Thomas Lyon, mistaking him for a priest. This puts Thomas in a moral dilemma. Wild horses wouldn’t drag from a priest the secrets of the confessional — but then Thomas is not a priest.
Thomas is engaged in directing a film concerned with racing when he unexpectedly finds himself facing the old wild-horses dilemma. Should he tell what he knows from the confession — or not. He discovers that the solution to his quandary could mean the difference between life and death. His life. His death. Either way, he is in trouble. Accustomed as he is to making difficult choices and decisions, he needs to call on extreme courage and cunning to sort out through the chaos and keep himself alive.
Charles Todd, a successful artist who paints horses, arrives at his cousin Donald’s house and stumbles on a grisly scene: police cars everywhere, his cousin arrested for murder and Donald’s wife brutally slain.
Believing — unlike the police — Donald’s story of a burglary gone wrong, Charles follows clues which lead him from England to Australia and a diabolical scheme involving fraud and murder.
But soon Charles realises that someone is on his trail. Someone who wants to make sure that Charles won’t live long enough to save Donald.
Teenager Benedict Juliard has no other ambition than to ride in steeplechases as an amateur jockey. Having agreed not to do anything that could destroy his father’s growing public service and political career, Ben finds himself targeted in an attack mounted by his father’s enemies.
In his stunning twenty-eighth novel, Dick Francis again proves he has no equal.
As Derek Franklin, an injured steeplechase jockey, nears the end of his career, he is thrust into trouble and mayhem by the accidental death of his older brother, Greville: “I inherited my brother’s desk, his business, his gadgets, his enemies, his horses and his mistress,” Derek says. “I inherited my brother’s life, and it nearly killed me.”
With danger besetting him from unknown directions, Derek discovers that honesty can be a deadly virtue and courage the provocation of escalating evil. His only hope of survival is to identify the enemy, but Greville, whose life had as many facets as the gemstones he imported, has left behind more philosophizing than useful clues. “The had scorn the good,” Greville wrote, “and the crooked despise the straight.”
On British racecourses the homestretch is called the finishing straight — the straight run to the winning post — and it is here that a race is finally won or lost. Derek Franklin must call on all his stamina and endurance just to complete the final furlong.
Gerard Logan finds that when his jockey friend dies following a fall at the Cheltenham races, he is involved in a desperate search for a stolen video tape which embroils him in more life-threatening hazards than does his work as a widely-acclaimed glass-blower.
The Grand Master returns in prize-winning form
Geoffrey Mason did it for the money. It is obvious that his client Julian Trent is guilty, and it's about time rich boy Trent is taught a lesson for his violent ways. The only thing still bothering Geoff is that he is going to miss participating in the Foxhunter Steeplechase – the 'Gold Cup' for amateur riders – because the trial has taken a lot longer than expected. Although still an amateur, Geoff is well known (as 'Perry' Mason) among the pro riders, including Steve Mitchell and Scot Barlow – arguably the two top pros. So when Scot Barlow is murdered – with Mitchell's pitchfork nonetheless – Geoff finds himself pulled into the case as a junior barrister. The problem is: which side is he on? Mitchell claims he has been framed, but Geoff knows there was tension between Mitchell and Barlow; in fact, Geoff stumbled across Barlow beaten and bloody not too long ago, and Barlow claimed it was Mitchell who had done the dirty work. To make matters worse, Julian Trent has somehow finagled is way out of prison and has sworn to hunt down Geoff unless he's a 'good little lawyer' and does what he's told in the Mitchell case. Geoff is left facing adversaries from all sides, tearing him between doing what is right and what will keep him alive.
The New York Times-bestselling authors return with a heart-stopping new novel.
O n the first day of Royal Ascot, the world's most famous horse race, 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 he 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 gray-haired man steps forward from the crowd claiming to be his father, Ned's life is thrown into far deeper 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 parking lot. 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…
For millionaire jockey Alan York, winning is a bonus. For Joe Nantwich, victory means no cushy backhanders; and for Bill Davidson, front running on strongly fancied Admiral, triumph is an imposter. It means murder – his own. Turning private detective, York uses Joe's underworld connections to go on the trail of the killers – only to draw a series of blanks. But when ambushed by a gang of viscious thugs, he picks up some clues along with his cuts and bruises. Bill's murder begings to make more sense. Until York finds himself in hospital, without a memory.
Proprietor of a stud farm in Australia 's Snowy Mountains or muck-raking stable boy in Yorkshire? Danny Roke decides on the latter. It is the change of scene and the challenge that pushes Danny undercover, on the scent of a suspected racehorse dope scandal.