Wild Horses

( 24 )

Overview

From the acclaimed master of mystery and suspense comes a thrilling novel about the illusion of film—and the reality of murder.

When a film director hears a friend's deathbed confession about an unsolved crime that rocked the racing world nearly 30 years ago, he is compelled to pick up the thread of the unfinished tale, and follow it through to the perilous end, ANew York Times Notable Book of the Year.

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Wild Horses

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Overview

From the acclaimed master of mystery and suspense comes a thrilling novel about the illusion of film—and the reality of murder.

When a film director hears a friend's deathbed confession about an unsolved crime that rocked the racing world nearly 30 years ago, he is compelled to pick up the thread of the unfinished tale, and follow it through to the perilous end, ANew York Times Notable Book of the Year.

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Editorial Reviews

San Diego Union-Tribune
Another winner.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
For his 33rd-and quite splendid-novel, Francis (Decider) adds to his usual horse-racing setting a backdrop involving feature filmmaking. As usual, though, it's murder most foul and mayhem most brilliant for this English master. In the Suffolk city of Newmarket, Thomas Lyon is for the first time directing a film featuring an American megastar. Based on a bestselling book, the movie concerns a still unexplained, 26-year-old death by hanging of a young horse trainer's wife. The wife's sister, niece and nephew are vehemently opposed to the film, while the book's author, who's also the screenwriter, is opposed to any changes in his plot. The megastar's double is attacked, a murder occurs, Thomas gets death threats and finds himself in great peril. How Francis has him solve the assorted mysteries and achieve a satisfactory ending for his film is nothing short of dazzling. Francis puts his novel together in the same way a movie is constructed, with out-of-sequence scenes, dissolves and brilliant images. He offers wonderful set pieces and moves his large and colorful cast with the aplomb of a seasoned director. Even better, in Thomas Lyon he has created a representative of a vanishing, even endangered, fictional species: the thoroughly decent chap we care about. A tip-top thriller, this could make the best movie about movies since The Stunt Man. BOMC main selection; author tour. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
YA-Francis's fans will not be disappointed with his latest offering. Thomas Lyon is making a movie based on an event that occurred almost 20 years earlier-the hanging death of a horse trainer's young wife. Valentine Clark, Thomas's long-time friend and a prominent figure in the racing world, is dying, and while Thomas is reading to him he makes a death-bed confession. His whispered confidences relate too directly to Thomas's film to be ignored, especially as the movie set is plagued with suspicious problems and attempted murders. Despite being stabbed himself, Thomas tries to solve the past and present mysteries, produce his movie, and save his own life. Besides providing a many-faceted mystery and the author's trademark insights into the horse world, this novel offers an in-depth, fascinating behind-the-scenes view of filmmaking.-Katherine Fitch, Lake Braddock Secondary School, Burke, VA
Emily Melton
After producing 34 popular novels in 32 years, it's not surprising that Francis has the formula for success down pat. He's a dependably good writer who can churn out one mystery after another and still keep them interesting. His heroes are decent, likable chaps who generally remain untarnished by the evil around them, and his writing is as unobtrusively smooth and classy as a single-malt scotch. His latest book promises to be another hit. Filmmaker Thomas Lyon is making a movie--based on a best-selling book--of a real-life tragedy in the horse-racing world. Twenty-some years ago, the young, attractive wife of a horse trainer was found hanged. Although her death was ruled a suicide at the time, Thomas' film reopens questions about what really happened. When Thomas' old friend Valentine Clark, a famous racing writer, whispers a puzzling deathbed confession about the years-old mystery, Thomas feels compelled to investigate. Problems begin to plague his film, and his life is threatened, but the mystery is too tantalizing for him to give up his quest for the truth. Another winner from this popular writer, so buy multiple copies and expect lots of reserve requests.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425196748
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/4/2004
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 692,571
  • Product dimensions: 6.76 (w) x 10.86 (h) x 0.92 (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
( 24 )
Rating Distribution

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(11)

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(7)

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(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2005

    Is Thomas Lyon Really a Priest?

    While visiting a dying racing columnist named Valentine Clark, Thomas Lyon is mistaken for a priest by the confused old man and forced to hear his confession. Since the names mentioned by Valentine are totally unfamiliar to Tom, he disregards the confession as merely the product of Valentine's delirium. Tom is directing a movie nearby which is inspired by a famous unsolved murder case from the past. Sonia Wells, the wife of trainer Jackson Wells, had died mysteriously of Asphyxiation. Sonia was the sister-in-law of Rupert Visborough, a prominent member of the Jockey Club. The careers of both Wells and Visborough were ruined by the suspician of murder. Valentine had known these two men as well as Sonia and several of her friends. As the filming progresses, numerous attempts are made to stop Tom from completing the project and perhaps solving the mystery of the killing.One of the actors is slashed while riding on the heath by an unknown horseman. Valentine's sister is attacked and her house is ransacked. Tom is stabbed in a crowd. By the time Valentine's nephew is killed it is very clear that the murderer is after Valentine's books and notes which are now in Tom's possession. I consider WILD HORSE to be one of the better crime novels written by Dick Francis. In addition, the reader can also expect to enjoy some interesting subplots.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2014

    Brad

    To Heather's rper: You are an ignorant, perverted, disgusting, lonely person who has probably never actually had sex. You are desperat for... What? A false show of "affection"? Attention? And seriously, posting on the Warriors books, which attract mostly 5-11 year-olds? Please, for your sake and the sake of others, get mental help or shut the f*** up!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2014

    To brad

    I read the warrior bks and um 11yrs ild its awesome

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2014

    Heather

    Who are you?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2013

    Jack

    He ran in. "Sicoma!" He cut the ropes and took them from over Sicomas head.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2013

    Sicoma

    Master! He nuzzled his face.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2013

    Bear

    "Are there any other horses in this herd?" He asks Star.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2013

    Star

    There is a creek with fresh water at result 3 silly.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2013

    This book explained something to me I'd never considered before:

    This book explained something to me I'd never considered before: how does an idea in someone's head end up as film? How is a printed story translated to a motion picture with the original idea intact? As usual Dick Francis explains how in the context of a crackling good story

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2012

    The book

    I love love love love love the book allready but one question... WHO IS THE DANG BOY?????????????????????



    -AVERY 10

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2011

    A solid Dick Francis mystery

    This one meanders a bit, but all the pieces come together nicely at the end. The background of the making of a film is also interesting. Good characters as well.

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    Posted January 21, 2010

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    Posted January 18, 2010

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    Posted July 15, 2010

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