Driving Force

Driving Force

4.3 16
by Dick Francis
     
 

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New York Times bestselling grand master of crime fiction

Jockey Freddie Croft discovers a high-stakes conspiracy that exposes the seedy underside of horse-racing-and faces deadlier odds of survival than in any steeplechase run.

Overview

New York Times bestselling grand master of crime fiction

Jockey Freddie Croft discovers a high-stakes conspiracy that exposes the seedy underside of horse-racing-and faces deadlier odds of survival than in any steeplechase run.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Francis's first-rate thriller about the British horse-racing scene--a 10-week PW bestseller--portrays a former steeplechase jockey who learns that his horse transportation firm is implicated in a drug smuggling operation. (Feb.)
School Library Journal
YA-- From the first paragraph, the action grabs readers and plunges ahead like one of the thoroughbreds that is such valuable secondary characters in every Francis novel. As usual, a particular aspect of the British racing industry is carefully profiled, in this case the job of transporting horses. Former jockey Freddie Croft is the owner of just such a business, and must confront the discovery that his vans have been used for some very unusual smuggling. Freddie discovers two separate plots to victimize race horses through disease; along the way a bit of romance begins to enrich his life, a trusted employee is murdered, computer files are wiped out, and a malicious villain destroys Freddie's home with an ax. Clues abound, with those needed to solve the mystery satisfyingly mixed in with enough red herrings to keep readers happily guessing. Additional plot enrichment is provided by weaving in the latest in computer technology and epidemiology. A dependable writer will satisfy his YA fans once again.-- Carolyn E. Gecan, Thomas Jefferson Sci-Tech, Fairfax County, VA
Robert Seid
Dick Francis races to new heights with another retired jump-jockey sleuth, thirtysomething Freddie Croft, owner-operator of a fleet of vans, called Driving Force, that tote thoroughbreds all over Britain to training stables, racing meets, and stud farms. When a hitchhiker dies in one of his vans (strictly against house rules to pick up riders), and when his cockney-speaking mechanic finds small containers concealed under several of the vans, our hero fears drug smuggling. With the help of some well-coordinated action and the usual Francis mix of characters--the whining driver about to be sacked, the supercilious country doctor, various despotic owners and trainers, the tough but refined woman investigator helping to crack the case--the pace accelerates through the clubhouse turn and into the home stretch. One of the best Francis novels in years, "Driving Force" combines an airtight plot, plenty of racing ambience, and some thoughtful reflections on animal rights, immunology, and the work ethic. Francis fans have a treat in store for them.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425233184
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/05/2010
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
213,698
Product dimensions:
4.30(w) x 6.80(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.

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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Driving Force 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
JustSumGuyInNC More than 1 year ago
This follows the Francis Formula. Single male protagonist involved in the British racing industry tries to find the miscreant and gets beat up along the way. Minor love interest surfaces along the way. Yet another story revolving around the Montague / Capulet theme. I think I've now read seven Francis books, and in all, the first person narrator of the story could well be the same person, albeit with different areas of expertise. In this one, he is a jump jockey. All the protagonists are calm, keenly observant, and smarter than you would expect. None of this is bad. You know what you are getting - about 260 pages of good reading. And you usually learn something along the way based on the narrator's specialty, whether he is a jockey, a trainer, a horse transporter, a writer, a wine merchant, a restaurant owner, or a diplomat. I'll be reading more of his work.
TWD More than 1 year ago
Dick Francis, once again, proves why he can write as others only seek to emulate. He presents a clear and understandable mystery to all lovers of horse racing. An absolute must read for any Dick Francis fan!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The owner of a horse transport company discovers that some canisters have been hidden under his trailers. But what have they been smuggling? And which of his drivers is doing it? I liked this mystery, but it wasn't as tense as some of the others from Dick Francis. As usual, it is his ability to produce an array of interesting characters that makes it a page-turner.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another enjoyable ride with Dick Francis
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was fantasmic.