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Dick Francis's Bloodline

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Overview


When race caller and television presenter Mark Shillingford calls a race in which his twin sister, Clare, an accomplished jockey, comes in second when she could have won, he believes the worst: that she deliberately lost, and the race was fixed.
 
When Mark confronts Clare with his suspicions, she storms off—and it’s the last time Mark sees her alive. Hours later, Clare jumps to her death from the balcony of a London hotel. Devastated and...
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Dick Francis's Bloodline

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Overview


When race caller and television presenter Mark Shillingford calls a race in which his twin sister, Clare, an accomplished jockey, comes in second when she could have won, he believes the worst: that she deliberately lost, and the race was fixed.
 
When Mark confronts Clare with his suspicions, she storms off—and it’s the last time Mark sees her alive. Hours later, Clare jumps to her death from the balcony of a London hotel. Devastated and guilt-ridden over her death, Mark goes in search of answers. Why would Clare throw a race? What led her to take her own life?
 
Or was it not suicide at all?
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Francis ably follows in the footsteps of his father, Dick Francis, with his second stand-alone set in the English horse racing world (after 2011’s Dick Francis’s Gamble). Mark Shillingford, a TV commentator who covers horse races, is ridden with guilt over an argument he had with his jockey twin sister, Clare, after discovering that she was losing some races deliberately. In the aftermath of the confrontation, an angry Mark lets Clare’s phone messages go to voicemail, a choice he regrets after Clare apparently leaps to her death from a London hotel window. Mark resolves to discover what really happened in the hotel room before the fatal plunge. Suspecting that his sister’s cheating was more extensive than she admitted, he studies old video images of her recent races to spot a pattern that may identify those who wanted her dead to cover up the fraud. Fans will have a hard time distinguishing this solid thriller from the father’s work. Agent: Philippa Brophy, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Oct.)
Library Journal
When race caller and television producer Mark Shillingford accuses twin sister Clare, an accomplished jockey, of throwing a race, she storms off—and later is found dead beneath the balcony of her London hotel. Another horse-race novel from Francis, who's following in his Edgar Award—winning father's hoof prints.
Kirkus Reviews
The late Dick Francis' son and sometime collaborator follows his first solo canter (Dick Francis's Gamble, 2011) with more of the same. Once upon a time, Mark Shillingford and his twin sister, Clare, both wanted to be jockeys. Clare succeeded, Mark didn't. But since he still follows his twin's races both personally and professionally, as an announcer and television interviewer, he's on hand to call a race Clare deliberately loses, though no one else notices. Over a tense dinner afterward, Clare doesn't deny her guilt, passing her behavior off as no big deal, something she's done perhaps four or five times before. Several hours later, she's dead after a header from the balcony of a London hotel. Did she fall, or was she pushed--and what was she doing in Park Lane in the first place when she'd told Mark she was going straight to her Newmarket home? Cold-shouldered by both the police, who blandly assume from a note she left behind that Clare killed herself, and his domineering father, whose only reaction to his youngest daughter's death is angry gloom, Mark resolves to get to the bottom of the mystery. It's just as well that he's developing a new interest, since his married lover is about to drop him and his job is threatened by a hungry rival. Mark's inquiries will bring him up against a spiteful racing correspondent, several questionable trainers, a possible new romance and an ingenious serial blackmailer who seems intent on continuing his extortion demands from beyond the grave. The usual pleasures of Francis father and son, from inside dope about announcing races to carefully controlled bursts of physical violence, fly by with all the speed of a promising filly on her second one-mile run.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425261354
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 7/2/2013
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 128,284
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author


Felix Francis is the younger of Dick Francis’s two sons. Over 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. He lives in England.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 17 )
Rating Distribution

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(6)

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(5)

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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2012

    Start with an assumption, one which has proven true time and aga

    Start with an assumption, one which has proven true time and again. The racing mysteries of Dick and Felix Francis are incapable of disappointing. Yes, they are formulaic, but what a formula. “Bloodline”, Felix Francis’ second solo effort is not strictly speaking a wire to wire winner, but it is solidly in the money.

    Dick Francis left a scaffold for his son Felix to hang new stories on and so far the results have been satisfying. On the plus side you get a familiar method which doesn't disappoint and fluid writing which maintains a driving pace which would be the envy of jockeys so often featured in the pages. A hero, mostly alone in the world, a sudden challenge from unseen forces, a new romance, a sifting of clues, a few loyal and wry friends to stand watch, and a narrow escape at the end. The downside, well there really isn't much as each new effort greets us like an old friend.

    If Dick Francis books stayed close to a formula which has changed little over the series, why did we so eagerly read them? Because the spaces between the lines were colored in so well. We got a look behind the scenes at interesting occupations of the lead characters, a fine romance, interesting friends who would step forward in times of need, and the tension which came from violence which was graphically believable.

    If there is any complaint to be had with "Bloodline" it is that the picture, while well drawn, is not colored in sufficiently. Mark Shillingford's profession (broadcasting and race calling) is so familiar to a media savvy public as to render it difficult to make interesting. The romance is less than a grand passion, friends and helpers few, and the villians and villiany less than distrubing.

    But the story moves along easily, the dynamic of the Shillingford family is well explored, and the writing and plot are models of clarity. In Felix Francis we have a story teller who cares more for the story and characters than his own word craft. These are the qualities which make Bloodline a worthwhile read and leave us looking forward to his next effort.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2012

    Really good. I recommend this book to all Dick/Felix Francis fans.

    Great book. I think others will like this newest Francis adventure into the world of horse racing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 20, 2012

    Excellent

    Felix is doing a great job of carrying on Dick's legacy

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 11, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    The second standalone written by Dick Francis¿ son follows the s

    The second standalone written by Dick Francis’ son follows the same formula that served the father so well: A mystery set in the English racing world, populated by the trainers, jockeys and track officials. In this case, the plot involves the Shillingford family, especially race-caller Mark and his twin sister, jockey Clare. When Clare rode a horse that came in second when it should have won, he believed Clare lost on purpose and over dinner they had a heated argument.

    Later that night, Clare fell 15 stories from a London hotel to her death, an apparent suicide. Bereft, Mark starts asking questions, seeking a reason for her death. What was the meaning of a short written message which the police believed to be a suicide note, but really is ambiguous? What, if anything, does the discovery of several blackmail victims in the racing world have to do with her death?

    The author shows the same talent as Dick Francis for creating suspense, pitting danger and personal jeopardy for his protagonist on the way of solving the mystery. And the reader will be hard put to tell the difference in the writing between father and son. It is virtually indistinguishable.

    Highly recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2012

    Please read. Almost as good as his father.

    Typical Francis book. I enjoy the change of pace from the other books I read. I am a Dick Francis fan.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2013

    felix francis is valiantly trying to carry on his father's legac

    felix francis is valiantly trying to carry on his father's legacy--someday he may be that good. This is a respectable effort

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2013

    I

    Its good dick? Yay! Its tasty! Juicy too! Suck balls!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013

    -

    -

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2012

    To me very boring

    While the history of horse racing is very interesting, I was expecting to read more of a mistery. Half of the book is dedicated to horse racing, repetitive and frankly very boring. Would have liked to save my money.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2012

    Excellent read!

    I have been reading Dick Francis mysteries since my father gave me "For Kicks" when i was a kid. Felix has done an outstanding job keeping his father's style going. Keep up the excellent work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2012

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    Posted December 11, 2013

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    Posted March 12, 2013

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    Posted March 18, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2012

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    Posted October 1, 2012

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