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Dead Heat: Horse Racing Thriller (Francis Thriller) Kindle Edition
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un-putdownable.A tense ,taughtly written ,in places terrifying adventure.From start to finish Francis carries the reader from excitement to excitement, all the time weaving his magic storytelling skills into a carpet of ,for me,unsolvable plots.The final denoument is breathtakingly terrifying.
In usual Francis fashion, the protagonist is a pleasant fellow with a connection to British horse racing; in this case, Max Moreton of Newmarket, a young Michelin-recognized chef. Moreton unknowingly caters a poisoned dinner on the eve of the prestigious 2,000 Guineas race, and on Guineas Day he is again catering when the site is blown up. Max's kitchen is closed and he's served with a notice of prosecution under the Food Safety Act.
To complete the tale of Max's woes, the brakes are cut on his car and his house is burned down. This is fairly standard for a Dick Francis protagonist, and Max withstands it all with the usual philosophical attitude. Max may be less edgy than some of Francis characters, and as a result less compelling.
DEAD HEAT varies in a few subtle ways from Formula Francis. For one thing, there's little of the racing world in evidence. No dawn rides in the misty Sussex training paddocks; no intrigue among the jockeys in their distinctive racing colors; no stables, spotless or otherwise, with the "lads" tending to the horses; no parade ring with the victorious horses steaming and tossing their heads while exultant owners brandish gaudy prize mugs. I never thought I loved Francis' books for the racing, but to my surprise, I missed it.
Another subtle difference in this book is that Max seems oddly devoid of friends and family. The story would have benefited from a few more characters to swell his progress. True, the point is made that a chef's working hours interfere with personal relationships; but a few more fully-drawn characters would have rounded the book out.
Ah, and the love interest. Charming, but possibly a bit too slick? The lovely Caroline fell into his lap a bit too easily.
But with those provisos, DEAD HEAT is well done and satisfying, with unexpected flashes of humor, and the good guy wins in the end. Definitely recommended if it's your kind of book, and let's cross our fingers that the Francis dynasty continues.
The book downloaded OK. However, the book is full of typing errors. Wrong letters in word (eg VV instead of W), incorrect spelling of word so it loses context. The proof reading was extremely poor.
Often the incorrect word is a real word so spell check would miss it. Other times, error should be picked up by spell check. There must be at least 50 errors in book (about one every 3 pages) which made reading the book annoying.
The book needs to be proof read and corrected (up issued) before it is sold to anyone else.
The basic story is a reasonable standard of Dick Francis/Felix Francis so if the book had been produced correctly, I would have given 3 to 4 stars.
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