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I bought this for my husband to find common ground in our hobbies (me reading, him horse racing) but I think he's managed a page or two and I've finished it! Horse racing novels are not new to me but I think Taking The Fall has really good detail, better than most, and I found it very interesting. The novel is set in 1979 which is a good move by the author as it really suits the story - Duncan is an up and coming jockey desperate to avenge his father's framing for drugging his horses. Setting it then allows more licence in the plotting as everything was much less supervised - no online betting, not so much televised racing and what there was had very little technology, and secret lifes were easier to keep secret. Much has been made of the sex scenes, which are probably a bit gratuitous, but I think they are part of the pre-aids, end of free love zeitgeist and help to authenticate the setting.
There is nothing particularly new in the plot - revenge and betting scams - but I liked Duncan's character and the atmosphere and I found myself turning the pages compulsively to see what was coming next. Taking The Fall will not win any literary prizes but if you want a good read without too much brain exercise you could do a lot worse than try it.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Pure 1970s style entertainment that runs absolutely true to formula.

The novel relies upon the horse racing elements, obviously, to bring it to life. Without those elements Taking the Fall is quite a predictable tale of bad boys, fast cars, aggression and money. The pace is fast which suits the themes of racing and lead character Duncan is written to fit the plot.

Did I enjoy the read?. For a debut novel it's not at all bad but it's not as good as I'd hoped. I'd have been happier leaving a 3.5* review rather than a straight 4*.

I was surprised at the amount of sex scenes which are flung in all over the place, perhaps when the author couldn't think of anything else to drive the plot along, but; I thoroughly enjoyed the horse racing angle, rescues the novel, and I would have liked a lot more of that instead of the heavy handed raunch.

There's nothing memorable here. Taking the Fall is an adrenalin, testosterone, fuelled adventure with plenty of pace and it's been written purely for entertainment value - nothing wrong with that. I'm just hoping the next McCoy novel has more complexity and texture and much more horse racing.
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on 23 May 2014
The poorest of all the racing crime books I've ever read. Think a better ghost writer is needed next time as this book actually does read like a fist time attempt for a school project.
Brilliant jockey. Poor author
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on 21 September 2015
Wish I had read the other reviews before I bought this trashy novel. I just hope it WAS ghost written and Mr McCoy did NOT write this.

A man I have admired for YEARS has done his image no good by putting his name to this.

Crude, poorly written, no follow through, in the end I did not care enough to even finish it. I hope he has more respect for the women in HIS life than is shown in this book....
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VINE VOICEon 27 November 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
JP McCoy has previously written three (???) autobiographies which appears to have given him an eagerness to carry on writing.
In this thriller he is writing about what he knows in the well trod tradition of Dick Francis and John Francombe. JPM has created solid (but cliched) characters in an exciting and uncomplicated plot which results in a reasonably good read.
His previous writing experience shows in the description which is great, evoking the smells and emotions of he racecourse. He does let the book down though with the dialogue which is often stilted and doesn't feel real.
Set in the 1970s, the novel uses the period well and there are many surprisingly subtle touches. Notably no mobiles or social media which both must have changed this world significantly.
Throughout the book there are descriptions of various sexual encounters involving the main character. Sex has a place in many books but here it seems to jar and doesn't seem to be necessary, almost as though it has been added for effect only.
Overall the book is alright and I would recommend to anyone who enjoys thrillers. However, if you are not a thriller fan and looking to try one out then this is not the best place to start.
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on 17 February 2015
The racing details are sketchy and less than accurate. There are races in the book that involve jumping both hurdles and fences. Jump races are either hurdle races or steeplechases (i.e.over fences) not a mixture of both. Jump jockeys know this. AP McCoy obviously knows this. Perhaps a better informed ghost writer could be retained for the next one?
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on 26 November 2013
I am not sure if Tony McCoy actually wrote this book or not, I hope he did as I found it factual, exciting and moved along at a strong pace. The ending obviously allows for more books to which I look forward. I would recommend the book to anyone who has thriller tendencies a racing interest or someone looking for a period of getting away from it all.
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on 23 February 2014
I enjoyed this book but there is no doubt in my mind that it was not written recently,. The cars are dated and the use of video tape instead of DVD's etc make me think this was written some time ago. It has the feel of a 'discarded' John Francome and certainly I thought that a ghost writer had been involved. I find enjoy the book but will be interested to read his next novel. By the way what has happened to John Francome?
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on 5 January 2014
Was really disappointed in this book. I found it poorly written , the sex was excessive and didn't help drive the plot, and in the end only a third of the people get their comeuppance. I also have questions about his descriptions of dementia(a character suffers with it).I enjoyed the racing and training of the horses, but I did find the plot a bit of a let down.
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on 9 December 2013
It was a total surprise to find that Tony McCoy could write such vivid accounts of bedroom activity! I was impressed with his first book and am now looking forward to many more in the same vein. He is up there with John Francome and Dick Francis. An exciting racing thriller from a truly great jockey. Thank you, Tony!
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