Sid Halley is an ex-champion National Hunt jockey who retired with a crippling injury that left him with a hand and wrist mechanical prosthesis that he loathes. It is six years since he gave up being a private investigator. Sir Richard Stewart, a racing afficienado, has video-incriminating evidence of horse race rigging that he presents to Sid. Stewart dies shortly afterwards in mysterious circumstances.
This leads to Sid Halley taking up the reigns of massive racing corruption with race fixing, bribery, blackmail and fraud at the highest level. He is respected amongst the racing fraternity and still has connections with jockeys, trainers and the police. With his ex-father-in-law Admiral Charles Roland and his loyal mate Chico, Sid delves into a dangerous world. 'Mr Big' from Belfast has the racing world in his hands. A ruthless gangster stripped of morals, he has the muscle to manipulate the outcome of races. Stand in his way and more than your fingers are burnt. Sid's family are at serious risk as he uncovers more details of the conspiracy. His do or die approach keeps the narrative biting. He will not give in to the demands that threaten him and his family although he takes all precautions to protect them.
Felix Francis writes with an insight into the racing world, not surprising given his family history. He conveys the seedier side of racing where vulnerable peoples' lives and families are threatened for the sake of greed and money. The 'Mr Big' of the story is named early in the novel. His background comes later as do the confessions of the racing world. There are twists galore. The final chapters are exhilarating as the mess spreads to a crescendo that leaves the reader turning the pages galore. Sid Halley literally has a hand to play with in this adventure. Another excellent Felix Francis Novel and a grand read nor too short of reality given recent revelations.