Dick Francis's Refusal

Dick Francis's Refusal

4.5 41
by Felix Francis
     
 

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Six years ago, private investigator Sid Halley retired. He’d been harassed, beaten, shot, even lost a hand—enough was enough. For the sake of his wife and new daughter, he gave up that life, and he thought nothing would ever lure him back into the game.

He thought wrong.

Sir Richard Stewart, chairman of the racing authority, begs Sid to…  See more details below

Overview

Six years ago, private investigator Sid Halley retired. He’d been harassed, beaten, shot, even lost a hand—enough was enough. For the sake of his wife and new daughter, he gave up that life, and he thought nothing would ever lure him back into the game.

He thought wrong.

Sir Richard Stewart, chairman of the racing authority, begs Sid to investigate a series of dodgy races. Sid refuses. Then Sir Richard is found dead under suspicious circumstances. And then a man with an Irish accent contacts Sid, telling him to deliver a whitewashed report about the suspected race-fixing…or else.

At first Sid ignores these warnings. But as the intimidation tactics escalate—and his own family comes under threat—Sid realizes he must meet his enemy head-on…or he might pay the ultimate price for his refusal.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Francis successfully resurrects one of his late father’s most popular creations and only series character—disabled jockey–turned–PI Sid Halley (last seen in 2006’s Under Orders), who has given up detecting as a concession to his wife, Marina. Well-off from investments, Sid leads a happy if placid country life with Marina and their six-year-old daughter. Given his desire to avoid the rough stuff, Sid is reluctant to look into “some corrupt goings-on in racing” when asked to do so by Sir Richard Stewart, chairman of the British Horseracing Authority. Sir Richard is sparing with details, providing only a list of recent races, and Sid is careful not to commit. Sid changes his mind after Sir Richard dies while sitting in a running car in a closed garage, an apparent suicide. Of course, his involvement in the case places Sid and those dear to him at risk. Longtime fans will be hard put to tell this gripping thriller from the senior Francis’s work. Agent: Philippa Brophy, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
“[Felix Francis] has one priceless advantage. He couldn’t have had a better teacher.”—The Washington Times

"Francis aficionados will hope that Felix chooses to carry on the family tradition on his own.”—Publishers Weekly 

“Francis knows how to control this wild run of a plot and also knows how to create a conflicted character in the midst of crisis. A stunning addition to the family line.”—Booklist
 

Kirkus Reviews
2013-08-15
Francis fils brings back his father's favorite hero for a jaundiced look into a rash of rigged steeplechases. Retired by a crippling injury from his first career as a jockey and retired by fears for his family and his peace of mind from his second as a private eye, Sid Halley just wants to be left alone with his biologist wife, Marina, and their daughter, Saskia, 6. But trouble keeps finding him. First, Sir Richard Stewart, chair of the British Horseracing Authority, urges him to look into a string of nine races he's convinced were fixed; then a mysterious caller with a Belfast accent demands that he sign a report saying that he's conducted an investigation and found nothing to Sir Richard's charges. Readers who know Sid (Under Orders, 2006, etc.) won't be surprised to hear that the prickly, one-handed investigator refuses both commissions. But he has to think twice about the first request when Sir Richard dies the day after his visit in a staged suicide that would fool no one but the police and about the second more peremptory command when Saskia is taken from school and Sid's two guard dogs are captured and released on the M6, 80 miles from home. Sid's tormentor, soon identified as murderous ex-commando Billy McCusker, is obviously implacable, and whether or not Sid puts his name to the whitewash and sends it to BHA security chief Peter Medicos, it's obvious that he'll have no peace of mind until he's dealt decisively with McCusker. Although the jockeys McCusker has intimidated into throwing their races offer little help, Sid burns to go mano a mano with his nemesis, and once he reunites with his ex-colleague Chico Barnes, readers know it's just a matter of time. Not as original as Dick Francis's Bloodline (2012) but still a fast-paced, highly professional evening's entertainment. With all due respect, hasn't Francis earned the right to have his famous father's name removed from the franchise?

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101636527
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/03/2013
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
432
Sales rank:
42,461
File size:
862 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher

Praise for Dick Francis’s Refusal
 
“To the delight of Dick/Felix Francis fans, [Sid] Halley gets back into investigations after an eight-year hiatus . . . It’s the kind of page turner that fans of either Francis have come to expect.”—Sacramento Bee
 
“In REFUSAL, [Felix Francis] has found a strong voice and confident style . . . in the same, comforting, ever-so-British style of his father, Francis assures readers that integrity will prevail.”—The Plain Dealer
 
“A fast-paced, highly professional evening’s entertainment.”—Kirkus Reviews
 
“This is fascinating reading on every level, from the neatly calibrated plot, moving from suspense to terror, to all the details of the racing world Francis provides. Halley is now, as before, an utterly complex, interest-holding character. And the final, moral turn that Francis makes of “refusal” is brilliant. A heroic return for Sid Halley.”—Booklist (starred review)
 
“Francis successfully resurrects one of his late father’s most popular creations and only series character—disabled jockey–turned–PI Sid Halley . . . Longtime fans will be hard put to tell this gripping thriller from the senior Francis’s work.”—Publishers Weekly
 
Praise for the Dick Francis novels by Felix Francis
 
Bloodline
 
“Francis knows how to control this wild run of a plot and also knows how to create a conflicted character in the midst of crisis.  A stunning addition to the family line.”—Booklist (starred review)
 
“With “Gamble” in 2011 and now “Bloodline,” Felix Francis shows that the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree…the story unfolds with the suspense and insistent pace readers expect from their annual Francis fix.”—Washington Times
 
“Francis ably follows in the footsteps of his father, Dick Francis, with his second stand-alone set in the English horse racing world… Fans will have a hard time distinguishing this solid thriller from the father’s work.”—Publishers Weekly
 
Gamble
 
“[Felix] Francis shares his father’s gift for brisk storytelling.”
Publisher’s Weekly
 
“Fans of Dick Francis’ suspense masterpieces should rejoice:  Felix has produced a mystery with a racing setting (the Grand National, no less); a retired but still yearning ex-jockey as the detective; and an intriguing mix of racing and other business.”
Booklist
 
"Gamble has all the things that loyal readers have anticipated in their annual Francis fix: a taut and intelligent story full of suspense, danger and mystery in spare and fast-moving prose that keeps readers' attention . . . Francis novels, under new management, will continue to find themselves at the very top levels of genre fiction.”
Washington Times

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Meet the Author

Felix Francis is the younger of Dick Francis’s two sons. During the last forty years Felix assisted with the research of many of the Dick Francis novels, not least Twice Shy, Shattered, and Under Orders. Since 2006, Felix has taken a more significant role in the writing, first with Dead Heat and then increasingly with the bestsellers Silks, Even Money, and Crossfire, all father-son collaborations. He continued his father’s legacy with Dick Francis’s Gamble and Dick Francis’s Bloodline. He lives in England.

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