Dick Francis's legion of admirers can relax: his year off from writing is over and a new vigour has entered his style. Longtime readers will be happy to find the customary racetrack skulduggery, galvanised by some fascinating new elements. The very opening of Second Wind
signals something new, with Francis's protagonist fighting for his life in a Caribbean storm at sea: "But now, as near dead as dammit, I tumbled like a rag-doll piece of flotsam in towering gale-driven seas that sucked unimaginable tons of water from the deeps
In flashback, we are catapulted into the world of meteorologist Perry Stuart who agrees to fly through the eye of storm on Trox Island, a blighted place steeped in guano and harbouring a nasty secret. When the reader encounters details of the racing world in Francis's earlier thrillers, it had the satisfying ring of authenticity. The same is true in Second Wind, as Stuart's character was developed with the help of BBC weatherman John Kettley. Although a new venue for Francis, he still has the knack of quickening the readers' pulse with a few carefully chosen words: "Despair was too strong a word for it. Perhaps despondency was better. When they came for me, they came with guns." --Barry Forshaw
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About the Author
Dick Francis has written thirty-seven international bestsellers and is widely acclaimed as one of the world's finest thriller writers, having first been a champion National Hunt jockey. His awards include the Crime Writers' Association's Gold Dagger for the best novel and the Cartier Diamond Dagger for his outstanding contribution to the crime genre. The Mystery Writers of America have given him three Edgar Allan Poe awards for the best novel of the year - the latest for Come to Grief - and in 1996 made him a Grand Master for a lifetime's achievement.
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