“Whip Hand” by Dick Francis

Whip Hand Dick Francis In “Whip Hand,” Sid Halley returns, this time with his damaged hand replaced with a myoelectric version. He’s returned to life after the depression of the first book, but has to face his own weakness when his nemesis threatens him with his worst fears. Francis’s use of Halley as a recurring […]

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“Odds Against” by Dick Francis

Odds Against Dick Francis In “Odds Against,” Francis’s fourth fictional outing, he takes a decidedly darker turn. Although not lacking in evil villains, both “Dead Cert” and “For Kicks” had a strong aspect of glamorous wish fulfillment, and so, in its own way, did “Nerve.” Alan, Rob, and Daniel all had tough times, sure, but […]

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“For Kicks” by Dick Francis

For Kicks Dick Francis In “For Kicks” Francis continues to demonstrate the mastery of the horse-thriller genre he established in “Nerve.” Even more so than “Nerve,” “For Kicks” is slightly bizarre, unrealistic wish fulfillment, but that in no way diminishes its charm–in fact, it is one of the key factors in its charm. Who doesn’t […]

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“Nerve” by Dick Francis

Nerve Dick Francis “Art Mathews shot himself, loudly and messily, in the center of the parade ring at Dunstable races.” Thus begins “Nerve,” and thus begins Dick Francis’s career as one of the leading crime writers of the 20th century. Although “Nerve” was his second novel, it was the one in which he got the […]

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“Dead Cert” by Dick Francis

Dead Cert Dick Francis “Dead Cert” wasn’t the first Dick Francis book I read–that honor belongs to “The Danger”–but it’s his first novel in what would turn out to be a long and storied career, so it seems fitting to start my “classics of Dick Francis” retrospective with it. Reading “Dead Cert” after becoming familiar […]

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