Longshot

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Overview

Hired to write the biography of a famous racehorse trainer, John Kendall soon finds himself racing to solve a murder before the killer catches up with him. His continued survival, it seems, would be considered a longshot. "The best thriller writer going."--The Atlantic Monthly

Hot on the heels of his runaway bestseller Straight, Francis returns with his biggest book to date. Harsh terrain travel guide writer John Kendall interviews a successful racehorse trainer and ...

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1992-02-23 Mass Market Paperback New Perfect, unread book.

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Softcover NEW CONDITION! ! ! TIGHT CRISP CLEAN UNREAD COPY! ! ! NO CREASES! ! NO MARKS! ! 1992 Mm-PAGES ARE OFF WHITE DUE TO ACTUAL AGE-AN EXCELLENT COPY FROM SELLER WITH OVER A ... DECADE OF EXPERIENCE SELLING ON-LINE. Read more Show Less

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Longshot

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Overview

Hired to write the biography of a famous racehorse trainer, John Kendall soon finds himself racing to solve a murder before the killer catches up with him. His continued survival, it seems, would be considered a longshot. "The best thriller writer going."--The Atlantic Monthly

Hot on the heels of his runaway bestseller Straight, Francis returns with his biggest book to date. Harsh terrain travel guide writer John Kendall interviews a successful racehorse trainer and discovers that the perils described in his survival manuals pale next to the dangers in rural England. "Intelligent . . . fast-paced."--New York Times Book Review.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The reliable Francis Straight delivers again, this time in a thriller featuring young author John Kendall. Kendall writes survival manuals for an adventure-travel agency, but has taken time off to pen a novel. When money runs thin, he agrees to write the biography of famed horse trainer Tremayne Vickers. Leaving London for Vickers's Berkshire home, Kendall arrives as one of Vickers's two principal riders is acquitted of murdering a young woman with whom he'd quarreled. However, members of Vickers's entourage, including sons Gareth and Perkin and Perkin's wife, Mackie, suggest the hot-tempered jockey had some part in the death. Kendall fits easily into the household, conducting research, taking notes, even cooking and working horses; then the body of a missing stablegirl is found in the woods. As Kendall's research continues, his riding skills improve and he is taken into Vickers's confidence, the intrepid writer finds himself under attack. Horses, danger, betrayal and doing the right thing--expected components of a vintage Francis yarn--permeate a plot presented with authority and verve. Paperback rights to Fawcett. Oct.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780449219553
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/23/1992
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • Lexile: 830L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 4.24 (w) x 6.89 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Meet the Author

Dick Francis

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.

Biography

Dick Francis was born in Lawrenny, South Wales in 1920. He served in the Royal Air Force for six years during World War II, piloting fighter and bomber aircraft including the Spitfire and Lancaster between 1943 and 1946.

Following the war, Francis, the son of a jockey, became a celebrity in the world of British National Hunt racing. He won more than 350 races, was Champion Jockey in 1953-1954, and was retained as jockey to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother for four seasons, 1953 through 1957. Francis rode eight times in the world famous Grand National Steeplechase, and nearly won in 1956 when his horse, the Queen Mother's Devon Loch, a few strides away from victory with a clear field, suddenly collapsed. This incident, which Francis calls "both the high point and low point of my career as a jockey," was the impetus for him to begin a second career as a writer. Shortly after the incident, a literary agent approached Francis about writing an autobiography.

In 1957, Francis suffered another serious fall and was advised to retire from race riding. He completed his autobiography, The Sport of Queens, which was published later that year, and accepted an invitation to write six features for the London Sunday Express. He stayed on as the newspaper's racing correspondent for 16 years.

Sports writing soon led to fiction writing, which in turn led to a string of bestselling novels. His first, Dead Cert, was published in 1962. His 36th novel, 10 Lb. Penalty, was published in the U. S. by G. P. Putnam's Sons in September 1997. In addition to his novels and autobiography, Francis has also published a biography of Lester Piggott, A Jockey's Life, and eight short stories. He has edited (with John Welcome) four collections of racing stories, and has contributed to anthologies and periodicals.

Francis's books have been bestsellers in a number of countries, and have been translated into more than 30 languages, including all European languages, Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese, Bantu, and several dialects of Chinese. Each of his novels has also been recorded on audio in both Britain and the United States.

Francis was made an Officer of the most noble Order of the British Empire in 1984, and was awarded the British Crime Writers Association silver dagger in 1965, gold dagger in 1980 and Cartier diamond dagger for his life's work in 1990. The recipient of three Edgar Allen Poe Awards for Best Novel from the Mystery Writers of America, most recently for 1995's Come to Grief, Francis is the only person to have been awarded the prestigious award more than once. The Mystery Writers of America named Francis Grand Master for his life's work in 1996, and he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Tufts University in 1991.

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Group (USA).

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    1. Also Known As:
      Sir Richard Stanley Francis (full name)
    2. Hometown:
      Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, British West Indies
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 31, 1920
    2. Place of Birth:
      Tenby, Pembrokeshire, southwest Wales
    1. Date of Death:
      February 14, 2010
    2. Place of Death:
      Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, British West Indies

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 15 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2003

    Joe a student's review

    The book Longshot by Dick Francis is a brilliantly written novel. Each page makes you thirst for more because of it quick pace. Dick Francis writes in a way that makes you feel like you are learning from him. There is something about the way he puts words together that helps you easily remember the story. Longshot is a story of a writer named John Kendall that is having financial problems. So he takes a job that supplies housing and food. The job is to write a biography on a very successful racehorse trainer named Tremayne. John is an expert on survival and has written many survival books. As he researches Tremayn¿s life he finds out about a young girl named Angela Brickel. She used to work for Tremayne but came up missing. As he keeps digging into Tremayne and his family¿s life he finds out that Angela Brickel was murdered. As he get closer and closer to the truth someone in the family wants to get rid of him. The ending conflict comes with an explosion of excitement. It uses all the things you have learned in the book thus far to keep you hooked. You see how John¿s survival skills come in handy. I am not much of an reader, but this book caught my interest with ease which is hard to do. And when the book ended I was happy with what had happened and happy with the brilliance Dick Francis used to end the story. I would recommend this book to all readers, even if you think you don¿t enjoy reading. This book changed my whole outlook on books and reading in general.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2013

    pulls the reader along effortlessly-l read the entire book over

    pulls the reader along effortlessly-l read the entire book over two days and could hardly wait for his next book!

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  • Posted November 16, 2011

    Another Fine Dick Francis Novel

    This was the third novel I¿ve read by Dick Francis. Other customer reviews have done a good job of laying out the plot. The story is told from the viewpoint of an aspiring writer who has managed to just get by writing a series of survival books. He needs to rely on those skills to make it through a seemingly innocuous assignment of live-in biographer for a wealthy horse trainer. A series of misadventures and a missing person who turns up dead all point to there being a murderer in the midst of the characters who frequent the premises. It reminded me of the movie ¿Murder By Death¿ in that we know all the suspects, and we have to figure out who, amongst them, ¿done it¿. My only issue was that there were several equally suspicious suspects, and in the end, any one of them could have been revealed as the murderer. Be that as it may, it was the getting there, more than the resolution, that I enjoyed. This was another comfortable, engaging story by a delightful writer.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2005

    Excellent Book

    Wow, this book is amazing. Dick Francis is a wonderful compelling writer. He will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout this murder mystery filled with danger arond every bend. Longshot is aobut a flowering writer and his employer,a world famous horse racer named Tremayne, on their search for just the right information for his new biography. John has not This adventure falls short when a young stable girl is found on a nearby ranch. Dead. The role of detective falls upon our main character, John Kendall and now it is up to him to survive, seek and smooth this murder out. This is a wonderful book. For sure a must read!

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