Summary

John Kendall knows how to survive. He's written six handbooks on the subject. Now he wants to become a novelist, preferably without starving to death. But when cold and hunger set in, Kendall impulsively accepts an unlikely job.
He is to research and write a biography of Tremayne Vickers, a famous racehorse trainer. Staying at Vickers' home in rural Berkshire, Kendall soon learns to like his host and friends, learns to ride racehorses, learns about murderers ... and how his own survival tips can become deadly traps.
©1990 Dick Francis
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Critic reviews

"Intelligent, fast-paced." ( The New York Times Book Review)
"An exuberant, irresistible collision between writing and racing ... Few match Francis for dangerous flights of fancy and pure, inventive menace." ( The Boston Herald)
"Fast-paced, meticulously plotted ... Nobody sets up a mystery better than Dick Francis." ( San Francisco Chronicle)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Sue on 13-04-13

Expect the unexpected

Written with humour and.irony, this book keeps you on your toes throughout. Thoroughly enjoyable, delightfully narrated with plenty of twists and turns. Dick Francis is a master of descriptive narrative and you are there in the unfolding events with nerves stretched to the limit! The skill in writing such involving books is an immense talent and this one will twist your mind in knots!!

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Rosemary White on 10-03-13

Predictably enjoyable.

I know I can rely on Dick Francis to provide an interesting mystery read with an aroma of hay and horsey folk. Not a bad thing by any means. He does create protagonists who are not necessarily of an equestrian bent, and those occupations are clearly well researched, though they predictably end up in the saddle, racecourse or stables by one route or another. I feel I've absorbed quite a lot of the racing world through Dick's stories! In this tale the story canters around with an author who is intelligent, perhaps almost too insightful for his age and thoroughly likable who trips over murders, clues and baddies, ends up in a mess and solves the mystery very satisfyingly. The narrator sounds a good many years older than the hero of the plot but that doesn't seem to matter. Any of Dick Francis's books will entertain you, this one is no exception.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Ant the Limey on 04-12-05

slower pace than some of his others

not a good introduction to Dick Francis - slower (initially) than most of his others, even more rooted in the characters than usual. However - if you are already familiar with Dick Francis, then this one will knock your socks off. The protagonist is a writer, so you actually see some of Dick Francis' own feelings leak into the character about the process of writing. The languid pace lulls you into a false rhythm, so it absolutely galvanises you when the going gets wild. The characters are exceptional, and its a true classic murder mystery.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Nina on 13-03-07

My

Even tho all his books have something to do w horse racing, I have never, ever been bored by a Dick Francis book. I wish I could say the same about some of my other favorite mystery authors! Francis always comes thru w a great story and a human one.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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