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Citizen [Paperback]

Charlie Brooks
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
Price: 6.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

2 April 2009

From former top trainer Charlie Brooks comes a thriller of horseracing, dirty dealing, big business and a test of loyalty under extreme pressure…

General Shalakov, brutal Russian oligarch, has business interests across many continents. Yet he craves prestige in the West. His ambition is to corner the thoroughbred stallion market in Europe. Massively rich, he is prepared to bribe, torture and murder to achieve his goal.

Tipper O’Reilly, apprentice jockey, learns the hard way that survival is as much about what happens off the track as in the saddle. And he’s about to be drawn into a whole different world.

Coerced into working at Shalakov’s state-of-the-art training complex miles from Moscow, Tipper has no concept of what's really going on behind the efficient facade. There'll be only one survivor of the final race.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (2 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007286406
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007286409
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 257,360 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Move over Dick Francis, here comes Charlie Brooks.' Daily Mirror

'Engrossing and ingenious… Brooks keeps his readers guessing right up to the finishing post.' Mail on Sunday

'The great Dick Francis did it, then John Francome followed - now Charlie Brooks has taken up the genre with a book full of fascinating insider detail and dodgy characters… The set piece races are terrific.' Daily Mail

'Black Beauty meets the black market… Brooks' equine expertise ensures this tale of flat racing's sleazy extremities goes the distance.' GQ

'Superbly paced and even has 007 twists. It will keep you guessing right until the final page.' News of the World

'Sex, intrigue and horses are the perfect ingredients for a smashing read that will be devoured and enjoyed by all.' Sun

Review

'If Charlie Brooks fancies himself as the new Dick Francis, he could hardly have made a better debut. CITIZEN gallops along at a rattling good pace...'

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring! 9 July 2011
By Motto
Format:Paperback
I struggled with this book, it made tedious reading, the characters were terrible stereotypes and I found it a chore to read. Surprising really, because Charlie Brooks seems like such a fun character and I am into horse racing big time. I would advise to not waste one's money and stick with Dick Francis. Sorry, but that's the way it is.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars no more or less than you would expect 29 Feb 2012
Format:Paperback
A Russian oligarch attempts to take over the European stud market by breeding and racing a super stallion.

CITIZEN is the story of Tipper O'Reilly, an Irish stable lad who will eventually win the Derby riding Citizen, a wonder-horse owned and bred by retired Russian General Stanislav Shalakov.

When his mother is taken ill, the adolescent Tipper goes to live with relatives at a rural Irish stud. His mother soon dies and Tipper forms a special relationship with the foal `Red'. Red is sold to America. Tipper moves to the yard of David and Alison Sinclair in Newmarket. Despite obvious talent, Tipper's career stalls on his refusal of the sexual advances of Alison Sinclair. `Red' now known as Stella Maris, turns up at the yard, having been a failure in America, temperamentally unsuited to racing, to be sold on as a brood mare. The special relationship is resurrected.

Through an agent, General Shalakov purchases Stella Maris. General Shalakov is a brutal gangster who, on discovering he has been cheated by the agent, has him brutally and publicly murdered...

Brooks shows considerable finesse and subtlety in his story telling, and the above summary does not do justice to a narrative that remains gripping and convincing throughout. He is a very intelligent and talented writer who seems to know exactly what he is doing, executing his rather far-fetched plot with some skill. The narrative lags a little in the last 30 or so pages as Brooks ties everything together, but this does not detract from the overall impact of a thrilling novel.

It is of supreme importance that writers of racing thrillers can execute the race scenes and fully understand the technical / legal background of the sport.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars badly written 8 Dec 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I nearly fell off at the first hurdle but alas I stayed in the saddle to the bitter end, and bitter end it was indeed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cracking good read! 18 Oct 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was just a little sceptical about what to expect (not having read Switch - his first book - beforehand). There have been many wannabe Dick Francis successors, but until now none that has the verve, brio and sheer sprezzatura of Mr Brooks, who has mastered (unlike me) the art of the short but charged sentence structure used to such great effect by his literary forebear, along with a clearly innate ability to tell a good story. I immediately bought Switch, which is also a remarkably well told tale, more in the Jeffrey Archer mould, and with the same narrative drive. Great literature it's not, but they both make a cracking good read!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dreadful and disjointed 22 May 2009
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Despite rave reviews from the likes of the Daily Mail this really was not a good read, in fact I couldn't finish it. Take all the elements that make a classic Dick Francis work well - young hero with povery stricken or mysterious past but skill with horses, some nefarious goings on, the odd shady character, race-fixing, a touch of romance, shake them all up and fail miserably to deliver the goods. The focus jumped about between too many characters, their backstory was given in a blow-by-blow journalistic type manner rather than in a few pithy lines or by inference or passing comment, and none of them were appealing. The plot didn't seem to get anywhere even by about halfway, and I really didn't care enough about any aspect of the novel to continue being bored by it. A definite thumbs-down, off to the knackers yard with Citizen!
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3.0 out of 5 stars citizen 13 Jun 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
quite an enjoyable read but too long a book to tell story. a lot of padding out in this book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Horse Business 24 Sep 2009
Format:Paperback
Charlie Brooks is a famous horseriding trainer, apparently; not being big on racing, I had never heard of him, but his knowledge shines throughout this book. Dick Francis is perhaps the most famous horse personality turned writer, and Citizen is to my mind superior to most books by Francis that I have read. Fast moving and action packed, the plot moves quickly from one set piece to another. My only moan would be the lack of characterisation, that perhaps is to be expected from a debut novel. A good read though, and I'll certainly give his next a go as well.
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3.0 out of 5 stars citizen 25 July 2009
By E. Dale VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Charlie Brooks's Citizen is a thriller set in the world of horseracing
Ruthless Russian Shalakov craves prestige in the west. He would like to corner the thoroughbred stallion market in europe and will stop at nothing to do it. Being a very rich man he is prepared and able to bribe, torture and even murder to reach his goal. Apprentice jockey Tipper O'Reilly learns the hard way about what happens off the track and how to survive it. A mediocre thriller in my opinion but that's just imho.
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