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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 14 September 2012
I bought Felix's first book the week it came out and enjoyed it a lot, just as i had his father's , so when this was released I had no hesitation in buying it. Some authors disappoint with their second novel (though whether this count as only Felix's second novel is a arguable point, since he does have several co-author credits to his name) but Felix isn't one of them.

Like his last book this one comes with "A Dick Francis Novel" over the front cover, though it is smaller than it was on the last one so hopefully in the future it will be removed entirely since I think Felix has gotten out of his father's shadow with this book. His style is similar to Dick's but doesn't come across as a copy of his father, plus there are differences, such as the fact that Felix's books tend to be a bit more raunchy (I'm not talking 50 Shades, just more mature than Dick's).

The book itself flows nicely and is very enjoyable from start to finish. The main character is very sympathetic and you find yourself willing him on to solve the mystery. There are some very emotional parts to the book where you will find it hard not to become a bit misty eyed.

Only small problem I had was the last quarter felt slightly rushed but only very slightly. Other than that I have no hesitation in recommending this book to anyone who was a fan of his last one.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 20 September 2012
Felix Francis has written a novel that is constructed around the racing scene but it is much more than a story of the racing fraternity. He weaves in the essential elements of a top-class thriller with a well-organised and plausible trail of events and character introductions and their development that are core features of the plot.

Mark Shillingford is a racing commentator and television broadcaster. His twin sister, Clare, is a successful jockey. During a race at Lingfield, Mark is suspicious of Clare's riding on the beaten favourite. At dinner that night, Mark broaches Clare with the race. The conversation suddenly becomes unsavoury. Clare leaves to go to Newmarket for the next day's racing but on the same night is found dead having fallen from a balcony on the 15th floor of the Hilton Hotel in Park Lane, apparently a suicide.

Mark refuses to believe this and sets out to find what really happened to his sister, unknowingly putting himself and others in danger. The author smoothly takes the narrative via a series of characters and events that intermingle mystery, attempted and successful murders, blackmail and romance all wrapped in a build-up of atmosphere and suspense. He cleverly uses racing as the enclosure for the plot without it being the dominant subject yet has adroitly explained the basic features of racing realistically to the reader. We meet some straight and shady individuals during the story, including owners, trainers, jockeys, journalists, and a less than efficient police investigation.

The final chapters of the book are pulsating with exciting action as Mark relentlessly gets nearer to the facts that will tie everything together, with a few unexpected spins. Felix Francis has followed his father's footsteps (with mother Mary), but on the evidence of his last novel, 'Gamble' and more so 'Bloodline', he is becoming his own man with his own stamp. This is an excellent, enjoyable, stirring thriller. Much more writing of quality to come, I'm sure.
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on 15 September 2012
Well done Felix Francis, another excellent read twists and turns keeping you thinking and as previous reviewer stated willing him on to solve the situation. Trouble is now have to wait 12 months or so till the next one. A bleeding good read if I say so myself
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on 6 November 2012
"Bloodline" is entertaining enough. It is well researched and the plot moves along nicely. Where I found it lacking is in the writing style. Felix Francis is riding on his father's coat tails. He does not yet write with the polish and flair of Dick Francis, and if his name had not already been established he may have found it hard to have this accepted for publication without considerable tweaking. Having said that, I did enjoy the book and hopefully the author will improve as time goes on. The next book will have to be better, though. He needs to develop an individual style, or faithful Francis fans may well desert him. Worth a read,anyway.
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on 16 July 2016
Felix Francis has definitely inherited his father's talent for writing and this novel illustrates that most graphically. Felix is a definite power in his own right using words to their full advantage and impact.
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on 12 December 2012
First purely FF offering perhaps.
More than a little light.
Bears more resemblance to children's literature than it does to Dick Francis' well developed plots and prose.
Perhaps this author will develop with future offerings but this one could have done with some deep and serious editorial advice before being released.
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on 2 November 2012
I always felt with the Dick Francis novels that the ones which featured racing more heavily rather than just as background were his better ones and I think this latest one from Felix Francis follows that pattern.

In some ways it's the famliar Francis format - slight loner/outsider suddenly finds himself mixed up in some criminal and dangerous world and, eventually, manages to work his way through it - usually getting a bit beaten up on the way but surviving.

The main character is Mark Shillingford who is plunged into a family tragedy whilst discovering some nasty secrets about his twin sister and is then threatened and nearly killed whilst working out what happened.

Characterisation is good and Francis gives a good feel of the dynamics of a somewhat dysfunctional family brought together by the tragedy.

The racing background is from the perspective of a racing TV presenter/commentator and there is lots of quite interesting detail on how the programmes get put together (if you're interested of course, others might find it a bit tedious).

Short chapters and quick reading made me race through it (no pun intended!).

Not sure whether Felix Frances will last quite as long as his father as a writer, but on this showing at least he should be around for a while yet.
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on 21 January 2014
Felix Francis has managed to maintain his father's good style and the great insight on behaviour and frailties of humans and horses alike. The central character, Mark Shillingford , is the usual Dick Francis 30s something clean living chap who solves the murder, doping etc. within a week. My one piece of advice to Felix is to have new characters for each book. The latest with Sid Halley has disappointed me a little as he has a happy relationship with Marina. Nothing is mentioned of the trials and tribulations he had in the previous Sid Halley novel and his relationship with India. Francis repeats the background info. about his six years as an investigator and the tragic circumstances of losing his left hand. Felix needs to do his homework on Sid Halley or else replace him with another 30s male. another suggestion: lets have a woman hero for a change
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on 1 April 2015
This is the first Felix Francis book that I have read and a number of years since I have read a Dick Francis novel. I enjoyed Dick Francis books , even though I have no interest in horses or horse racing. I felt though that sometimes I was being lectured to rather than being told a story (e.g. television commentary or the rules of horse racing). I shall probably try another and hope that it grips me more than this one did.
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on 4 January 2013
Felix Francis has seamlessly taken over the reins from his father with another great novel. His knowledge of the subject and the research shines through. No unnecessary blurb on any page - just a great story-line. These are books that I shall continue to download onto my Kindle and read again.
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