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Gamble (Dick Francis Novel) [Hardcover]

Felix Francis
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Sep 2011 Dick Francis Novel

As one of the youngest ever winners of the Grand National, Nick 'Foxy' Foxton's career as a world class jockey is on perfect track until a near fatal accident cuts his dream brutally short. But when he returns to Aintree as a spectator years later, nothing can prepare him for what unfolds.

Minutes before the biggest event on the racing calendar, Nick's affable American colleague Herb Kovak is shot at point blank range, the gunman disappearing amongst the stunned crowd. Along with the police, Nick is left baffled as to why anyone would want to kill such an apparently gentle soul.

With the press speculating links to gangland crime and a crumpled note containing a threatening message found in the dead man's coat, Nick begins to doubt how well he really knew Herb. And on discovering Herb had named him as the benefactor of his will, Nick questions why he has been entrusted with the legacy. Is this a generous gift from a friend or is it, in fact, a poisoned chalice?

Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Joseph (1 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 071815665X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718156657
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 15.4 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 179,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dick Francis has written forty-two novels, a volume of short stories (Field of 13), his autobiography (The Sport of Queens) and the biography of Lester Piggott. He is rightly acclaimed as one of the greatest thriller writers in the world.

Product Description


The Francis flair is clear for all to see (Daily Mail)

The novel confirms Francis's seat at the head of crime fiction (Racing Post)

From winning post to top of the bestseller list, time after time (Sunday Times) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Felix Francis is the younger son of thriller-writing legend, Dick Francis, with whom he co-wrote the four most recent Dick Francis Novels, Dead Heat, Silks, Even Money and Crossfire, with Felix taking an increasingly greater role in the writing. Sadly Dick died in February 2010 but his work will live on through Felix. Gamble is Felix's first solo Dick Francis Novel.

Felix trained as a physicist and spent seventeen years teaching A level physics before taking on the role as manager to his father, and then as author. He lives in Oxfordshire.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthy successor 29 Sep 2011
By Huw Hay
I'll admit I had some reservations before buying this. Though Felix's collaborations with his father had all been very good books, there was still doubts in my mind about how much or that was Dick and how much Felix actully did (i.e. was he in a similar role to Mary or was he more involved in the writing?). Figuring he must of had a large role in order to get a co-writers credit, I gave the book a go and was not disappointed in the least.

Felix has shown that he has a similar writing style to his father, which helped make the books he wrote with his father a success, but he's not an exact copy of Dick, which is good because it allows him to stand on his own two feet, even if the book does have a very noticable 'A Dick Francis Novel' on the cover, obviously trying to draw people who were on the fence like me in. It worked but I hope it doesn't continue onto the next books he writes because it would be unfair for Felix to stand in his father's shadow. With this book he's proved he can write on his own and produce a damn good novel.

The plot is very interesting, it starts of in a very similar vein to Dick but quickly goes off in a diffent direction that you'd expect. The trademark Francis suspence is there to enjoy and the book is a bit racier then I was expecting but I'm not complaining. I did think I had the murderer pegged and was about to congratulate myself when the reveal was made, only to be proven wrong (and proved wrong in a good way i.e. the actual murderer makes just as much sense as the guy I pegged and wasn't a 'oh it's actually this guy who has absoulty no reason to do it." twist).

Can't recommend higher. If you're torn over this book, have no fear Felix is on a winner ( *wince* sorry, obligiatory pun is obligiatory)
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seamless 24 Mar 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I was not sure what to expect from this book after Dick Francis had sadly passed away and this being Felix's first solo book. I need not have been worried , the transition was seamless, the 'old style ' was all there and I was very happy with the whole package . When is the next one due ?
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not up to standard yet 4 Oct 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I was expecting great things from this book - that it would prove to be a worthy addition to my complete collection of Dick Francis's fiction. I was disappointed: it certainly isn't. To a great extent it reads like a first novel. The language is mawkish, sometimes stilted, occasionally approaching the childish. The result is a lack of tension and of suspense in the text, which was one of the trademarks of Felix's father's work. Worse, there are errors of continuity that affect the flow of the reader's understanding of the storyline. The whole thing could have done with vigorously competent editing. For all that, I did finish reading the book, and I haven't thrown it away. If Felix writes another, will I buy it? I probably will, hoping that it has got to be better. Or I won't buy any more.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read but not quite done 15 Feb 2012
For those of you who were as devastated as I was to say goodbye to the master of crime on the racecourse, the arrival of Gamble by his son, Felix, with little pomp or circumstance may have brought forth warring emotions of excitement and apprehension. The Dick Francis novel as we know it has been steadily changing over recent years as Felix has been having more of an input into the books. Undoubtedly still the father, but with touches of the son. This would be his first foray into solo writing in order to continue what his father has so comprehensively started, and the front cover states exactly what all fans would want to know in a single glance; 'A Dick Francis novel, by Felix Francis'.

Nicholas Foxton is a prematurely retired jockey through injury, now working as an independent financial advisor in London but gaining most of his client base from the racecourse. A seemingly safer choice of career until his colleague is shot at point blank range right next to him on Aintree racecourse with no clue as to who or why. This is the catalyst that propels Foxton into a world of guns, threats and dirty dealing proving that when it comes to gambling its not just the short off your back you can lose.

This has everything a Dick Francis novel should. The intrigue, the mystery, the personable characters and an entertaining and exciting story line. There are just some parts of it that feel a little rough and rushed, characters who aren't quite knitted and storylines that almost feel shoehorned into the plot line. The book is good and has all the ingredients to be another great Francis novel but unfortunately it just falls a little short.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars least favourite francis novel 7 Jan 2013
By mrs a
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
read all dick francis novels and enjoyed later ones with felix as well. did like this and stopped reading about halfway through .lacks subtlety and class of previous francis novels
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK Plot 15 Mar 2012
By Peterr
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It was in the style of Dick Francis and almost up to his high standard but a bit predictable. Hopefully the next book will be stronger.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What a let down 27 Dec 2011
By Ellie
I've been a fan of Dick Francis for years. His plots are always intriguing, and the lead character is always compelling. Not so with this book. The lead character takes a patronising view of the women he purports to love, and his internal monologue reveals him to be self centred and insecure. Quite honestly, I didn't care in the least when the villains tried to finish him off in a risible denoument utterly lacking in tension - for the sake of the women in his life, I almost wished they would. There is a crass subplot about cancer, and the whole book is written in a clunky style with an occasionally hectoring tone. The entire book plods along like an old nag, and could do with some serious loving care from a good editor. Really disappointed in a book I really wanted to like.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Francis at his best obviously his fathers talent has rubbed off.
Published 3 days ago by mrs.bridget clarke
1.0 out of 5 stars disappointing
I wasn't impressed. I'd enjoyed his fathers books but I didn't feel this was of the same standard. Not much of a storyline. Won't be reading any more.
Published 6 days ago by graham
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Typical Francis novel Felix is keeping up the tradition.
Published 13 days ago by SIOBHAN WEST
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
brilliant book keeps you on your toes an excellent thriller Felix has carried on with his father's heart stopping racing thrillers
Published 14 days ago by Olwen M. Hall
5.0 out of 5 stars A chip off the old block
Great plot as usual - Felix Francis has stepped into his father's shoes in style and gets better with each novel
Published 24 days ago by Liz Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Ever Thriller Writers
What do you say about Dick Francis/Felix Francis - the best thriller writers ever. I admit I have a bit of a subjective view as have had a lifetime around various aspects of the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Corkscew
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Always liked his books.
Published 1 month ago by Peter Schaad
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read
Felix Francis is continuing to produce brilliantly written books where his late father left off - keep up the good work
Published 2 months ago by Ladysmash
5.0 out of 5 stars Family dynasty
Felix Francis is living up to his father's high literary standards. The characters are beautifully crafted and totally believable. Read more
Published 3 months ago by The Sheep Farmer
5.0 out of 5 stars good book
Gamble is obviously written by Felix Francis with Dick Francis' script. You would not necessary notice it but at some places you do. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ms. K. Driesel
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