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Citizen Paperback – 2 Apr 2009

35 customer reviews

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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: 11.2 x 3.6 x 17.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 751,369 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

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Motto on 9 July 2011
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 By Peeking Man on 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 By FROM EU TO ME on 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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By Big Bertha TOP 500 REVIEWER on 4 May 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As someone who knows absolutely nothing about horse racing or horses (my once yearly bet on the Grand National in the works sweepstake not really considered an interest), I was pleasantly surprised just how much I enjoyed this book.

Tipper O'Reilly is a young lad who through a cruel twist of fate ends up doing an apprenticeship at a stables in Ireland. There he meets a filly he affectionately calls Red and they form a lasting bond. She wild and wilful, him patient and understanding.

Word gets round about his way with difficult horses and he soon finds himself as a Jockey in a Newmarket racing stable. The thrill of the race flies off the paper at you as does the wind on the gallops in the dawn rides. Enter the former Russian General and his plans to take over the thoroughbred stallion market, a jockey who although well-meaning enough, isn't the brightest and you've got a great thriller.

A great, fast paced story, very easy to read and with enough twists, turns and back-stabbing to keep most interested. From the cosy clubs where inside information changes hands, to the hangers on and the people that take backhanders; Charlie Brooks tells it as only an insider could and the realism of the friendly and not so friendly banter between the jockeys rings true.

Just head out the starting gate, down the straight and before you know it you'll be at the finish.

I'm sure it'll be a hit with the racing fans, but it's just as enjoyable for those that aren't and you may even find you learn a thing or two about racing.
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By Wayne Redhart TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 April 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a ripping good yarn in the Dick Francis vein, from a new author whose name may sound somewhat familiar. However, let's not be making any embarassing mistakes about the novelist's identity! Although I was certain that the name rang a bell, the writer is not to be confused with 'Charlie Brooker' off BBC TV's 'Screenwipe'! On the contrary, as the book's blurb points out, Charlie Brooks is a 'former trainer' of particular repute. In fact, it soon transpired that my wife owns a copy of the author's DVD Charlie Brooks - Before And After Workout [DVD] [2005], which she holds in high regard.

Something of a "Jacqueline of all trades" however, this book marks an interesting departure from Brooks' primary expertise as a soap actress and aerobics instructor. Instead, here we have a fine thriller that occurs over a backdrop of professional horse-racing. Comparisons with the 'The Dickster' (as Francis is affectionately known among his friends) were always going to be inevitable. However, the book stands up extremely well alongside those of her celebrated predecessor in the world of the equine suspense-thriller. One wonders if it was strictly necessary to extend the plot over quite so many pages, although it did manage to keep me involved right up to that final furlong. Let's just hope that this fine thriller does not fall foul of any kind of unjust backlash against Brooks, for her portrayal of the character Janine- who was recently responsible for having mown down poor Danielle in Albert Square!
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