Crossfire by Dick Francis, Felix Francis | | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Crossfire

Crossfire

3.9 87
by Dick Francis, Felix Francis
     
 

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Shell-shocked after losing a foot during his tour in Afghanistan, Captain Tom Forsyth returns to his estranged mother's house. His mother has always put horses first and family last. But now she's being blackmailed for a hefty sum every week and being forced to make her horses lose. Using the skills he honed in the military, Tom sets out to find and defeat a hidden

Overview

Shell-shocked after losing a foot during his tour in Afghanistan, Captain Tom Forsyth returns to his estranged mother's house. His mother has always put horses first and family last. But now she's being blackmailed for a hefty sum every week and being forced to make her horses lose. Using the skills he honed in the military, Tom sets out to find and defeat a hidden enemy before his mother's reputation is ruined, and he ends up back in the crossfire.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In the enjoyable fourth and final collaboration between Francis (1920-2010) and son Felix (after Even Money), the army career of Capt. Thomas Forsyth abruptly ends when an IED in Afghanistan blows off one of his feet, leaving him with a prosthetic replacement (like another Francis lead, Sid Halley). Upon discharge from National Health Service care, Forsyth makes his way home to Lambourn, where he gets a less-than-warm welcome from his mother, Josephine Kauri, a horse trainer. After learning that her stable has had a series of mishaps, Forsyth discovers that Kauri has been sabotaging her own animals in response to a blackmailer's threats to reveal her tax evasion to the authorities. With nothing else to occupy him, he turns detective to identify the extortionist. Though the plot details won't linger as long as those in Dick Francis's best work, like Whip Hand, this is still a suspenseful read. Francis aficionados will hope that Felix chooses to carry on the family tradition on his own. (Aug.)
Library Journal
Francis, a former steeplechase jockey and author of more than 40 best sellers before his death in February 2010, teamed up with his son Felix to coauthor three mysteries: Dead Heat, Silks, and Even Money. Their fourth and final collaboration does not disappoint. After losing a foot from an IED (improvised explosive device) in Afghanistan, Capt. Tom Forsyth is told he will no longer be able to serve in active combat. When he leaves the rehab hospital, he realizes he has nowhere to go except home to his race horse trainer Mom and stepfather, a home he happily left behind when he turned 17. Now Tom finds that his mother has been persuaded to spend all of her savings on a hedge fund that went south; in addition, she is being blackmailed for a large sum each month. Apprehending the blackmailers gives Forsyth a new reason to live.Verdict Tom's a typical brave, witty, and charming Francis protagonist. Here's hoping Felix will continue the family literary tradition. Highly recommended.—Patsy Gray, Huntsville, AL
Kirkus Reviews

The late Dick Francis's 44th, and last, canter around the track echoes several of his greatest hits.

Capt. Tom Forsyth has returned from service in Afghanistan without his right foot. Since the Army's been his only home for half a lifetime, he has nowhere to retreat but the home of his thrice-married mother, the doyenne of British racehorse trainers. Tom's rocky reunion with Josephine (née Jane) Kauri is rendered even more difficult by his suspicion that her charges' recent string of high-profile losses is more than bad luck, and his discovery that she's being blackmailed by someone who's bleeding her white even as he's forcing her to sabotage her horses, landing her in even deeper legal troubles than the ones that first made her vulnerable to extortion. With no hope of calling on the police, Tom relies on his knowledge of military tactics to force the blackmailer to show his hand. Not surprisingly, his aggressive moves against the unknown enemy quickly get him noticed and neutralized. Even after he escapes his kidnapper, he'll have his hands full picking him from a field of likely-looking prospects.

Tom's missing leg echoes ex-jockey Sid Halley's damaged hand (Under Orders, 2006, etc.), and his captivity recalls Rob Finn's ordeal in Nerve (1964). Do these signs of the Francis formula—loner hero, dysfunctional family, oversexed female, physical torture and, of course, horseracing—mean that his son Felix, who's partnered with him in his last four outings, will carry on the beloved franchise alone?

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425242629
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/02/2011
Pages:
448
Sales rank:
314,723
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Dick Francis (pictured with his son Felix Francis) was born in South Wales in 1920. He was a young rider of distinction winning awards and trophies at horse shows throughout the United Kingdom. At the outbreak of World War II he joined the Royal Air Force as a pilot, flying fighter and bomber aircraft including the Spitfire and Lancaster.

He became one of the most successful postwar steeplechase jockeys, winning more than 350 races and riding for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. After his retirement from the saddle in 1957, he published an autobiography, The Sport of Queens, before going on to write more than forty acclaimed books, including the New York Times bestsellers Even Money and Silks.

A three-time Edgar Award winner, he also received the prestigious Crime Writers’ Association’s Cartier Diamond Dagger, was named Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America, and was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2000. He died in February 2010, at age eighty-nine, and remains among the greatest thriller writers of all time.

Felix Francis (pictured with his father, Dick Francis), a graduate of London University, spent seventeen years teaching A-level physics before taking on an active role in his father’s career. He has assisted with the research of many of the Dick Francis novels, including Shattered, Under Orders, and Twice Shy, which drew on Felix’s experiences as a physics teacher and as an international marksman. He is coauthor with his father of the New York Times bestsellers Dead Heat, Silks, and Even Money. He lives in England.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, British West Indies
Date of Birth:
October 31, 1920
Date of Death:
February 14, 2010
Place of Birth:
Tenby, Pembrokeshire, southwest Wales
Place of Death:
Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, British West Indies
Education:
Dropped out of Maidenhead County School at age 15.

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Crossfire 3.9 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 87 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
After losing his foot in an Afghan fire fight, Captain Tom Forsythe has returned to the States to recover and learn to use his prosthesis. With no place to go, he returns to his mother's Kauri Horse Stables in Berkshire, England. At seventeen, tired of the fights with his stepfather, he left to go to war. Now he learns his family is concealing something from him. He soon learns someone is blackmailing his mother to the tune of 2000 pounds a week and they also lost a fortune in a sham hedge fund recommended by their accountant Roderick Ward who was found drowned; officially ruled an accident. What hurts Tom's mom the most is that her extortionist is forcing her to make sure her horses lose races. Tom investigates, but is kidnapped and left hanging in an abandoned warehouse. He escapes, vowing to take down the killers and others involved in harming him and his mom. This father and son team has proven to be as successful writing entertaining mystery readers as Dick Francis did when he rode solo (with his late wife as his researcher). The story line is driven by the hero who lost a limb in the Afghan war, but though depressed refuses to allow his trauma from helping his mom out of her predicament. With homage to Dick Francis who goes out a winner as he passed away a few months ago, Crossfire is a terrific character driven suspense thriller. Harriet Klausner
tudorlady109 More than 1 year ago
I got this book one day, and had it finished by the next. I truly enjoyed it, and it was similar in style and quality to the other Francis novels. Unlike other mysteries I own, I read the Francis ones over and over again as I enjoy them so much. I highly recommend this novel to those who are mystery lovers.
Reader42AS More than 1 year ago
Dick Francis and Lee Child are the only authors that I would buy in hard back as soon as it came out without even reading what it was about. I have not only read every one of his books, I have owned them. If you have never read a Dick Francis book, I highly recommend them. This is not the best of his books but it is still very good.
Emom More than 1 year ago
There are flashes of Dick Francis in this book but they are few. As one other reviewer said, the scene with Tom hanging in a stable is from a previous book. Very disappointing. this book is kong on personal and physical suffering and short on horses, races, and plot.
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Felix has apparently taken after his father, Dick Francis, in all the best ways. A really good, fast read. I'll be getting more of his.
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A well researched thoroughly enjoyabe read. I couldn't put it down.
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