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Damage (Dick Francis Book 4) by [Francis, Felix]
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Damage (Dick Francis Book 4) Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 254 customer reviews
Book 4 of 10 in Dick Francis (10 Book Series)
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Product Description

Review

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

From winning post to top of the bestseller list, time after time (Sunday Times)

The master of suspense and intrigue (Country Life)

A tremendous read (Woman's Own)

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. Damage is Felix's fourth 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.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1937 KB
  • Print Length: 441 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0718178823
  • Publisher: Penguin (11 Sept. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00KQZVNOQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 254 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #9,582 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good fun, a fast pace, and genuinely unputdownable. The 50th Francis book is both an homage to the father and a tribute to the son's great writing talent. What an incredible book. The main storyline, which delves deep into the world of the British Horseracing Authority, could have stumbled into the realm of boring under another author's reins, but not so here. Even the internal politics and board meetings are suspenseful and move the story along at a nice, crisp pace. Like every Francis book, the story simply flows. And so much action! No less than four sub-stories ride along with the main plot, all interesting and not always easy to address, and the author handles each one with great sympathy and sensitivity. (I'd say more but it would be a spoiler.) Felix Francis again demonstrates a true, empathetic understanding of what motivates people to act as they do. I rather liked being inside Jeff Hinkley's head as he thinks through his personal relationship while thinking his way through to the ultimate villainous conclusion. As an added bit of fun, long-time Dick and Felix Francis readers should watch for a little inside baseball humor in a conversation Jeff has with his colleague Crispin about watching out for all the possible things that can go wrong at a race meet.
Felix Francis continues to surpass himself with each book which makes it hard to pick a favorite, but this is certainly on the short list and one I already look forward to reading again. Like I do all Francis books. A bit earthier than I am used to with this author, some welcome humor, compassion, interesting bits of trivia and history woven throughout, and a heck of a yarn to boot. As my British friends have taught me to say, I'm chuffed! The 50th book is a splendid addition to the Francis library, and my own. Bravo, Felix.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This really is a splendid read. The old formula never ceases to work.

Our hero, Jeff Hinkley, is not a jockey this time, but an investigator working for the BHA (British Horseracing Authority). When all but three of the horses tested for drugs at the Cheltenham Festival are found to have the same illegal drug in their bodies it is plain that something dreadful has happened. The BHA receives a demand for £5M. Jeff is called in to investigate. The first of the barmy decisions of those in authority is made: the police are not to be informed. Jeff is only permitted to tell one other investigator what is going on. The two of them are told to find the culprit and save the BHA. Further attacks on racing are made when the BHA offers only £20,000 to the anonymous villain. Inevitably, after what happens at the Grand National, the police have to be told, but they aren't in the slightest bit interested. Jeff's brother in-law, a leading QC, explains that the police are unlikely to be interested in a crime of this sort. Though people are being injured, at least one horse has died and the whole of British racing is in peril, our wise QC tells us that the police and the Crown Prosecution Service can hardly be expected to investigate and prosecute that sort of crime. Jeff is left on his own to rescue racing from disaster.

Of course, the police are not only not prepared to do anything about this major crime, but they also, at one point, accuse Jeff of another crime of which we know he is not guilty (that is a requirement in every Francis novel). And Jeff, this is inevitable, becomes the villain's personal target.

The crime is not unbelievable. It could be done.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was good, but could have been so much better. On the minus side, there were lots of minor characters, not always that well drawn, which meant that it was difficult to remember who was who. The main character is supposed to be 30, yet seemed to be having a mid-life crisis. It was well written and I could sympathize with his worries, but I just couldn't picture him as the age he is supposed to be. Finally the ending seemed rushed and unconvincing. I won't give the plot away, but the rush to phone a journalist while people you care about are still in the middle of a truly traumatic experience didn't ring true at all.
On the plus side, the sub-plot was moving and for anyone who has had the trauma of seeing a loved one undergo treatment for cancer, very close to home. The plot was gripping and I liked the hero. I didn't guess the identity of the person behind the plotting, but then again Felix Francis was playing his cards very close to his chest with the information he gave away, so we are as much in the dark as the hero, which adds to our identification with him. I would recommend this book, but I wouldn't want to read it again.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My wife, who reads quicker than me, who has read it says that it is not as good as previous novels by the Francis Family.
She was of the opinion that it consisted of a number of previous scenarios re-hashed to compile a book.

My turn will come when I have finished "REFUSAL".
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By ACB(swansea) TOP 100 REVIEWER on 12 Sept. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Jeff Hinckley is a covert investigator for the British Horseracing Authority (BHA). He is gifted with a photographic memory and is a master of disguise. His expertise in surveillance has developed from several tours of Afghanistan in the British Intelligence Corps. At Cheltenham race course, he is following the activities of a trainer, banned for using prohibited substances on his horses. He suddenly attacks and kills a bookmaker, reasons unknown. The trainer is one of several who have received threats that their horses will be doped unless they pay him money. This escalates from individual horserace trainers to extortion of potentially millions of pounds from the BHA, with a view to undermining and destroying the British racing industry unless his demands are met.

The BHA directors stubbornly refuse to involve the police, insisting on using their in-house Integrity Service, notably Hinckley and Crispin Larson, chief analyst with a brilliant mind who worked for MI5 or MI6. Both have reservations about their task of finding out how horses were being doped on a widespread basis and to apprehend the perpetrator. He is, however, always one step ahead of them and clearly is executing an elaborate plan. Refusal to accede to his demands has catastrophic effects.

The investigation is painstaking and humiliating with no obvious leads or clues into the identity of the master mind crippling the racing scene nor what to expect next. Felix Francis expertly takes the narrative through a series of high tension events with plenty of suspense and action. The description of how the racing industry operates is incorporated in the storyline adding to the authenticity of the atmosphere.
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