Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Dick Francis's Refusal

Dick Francis's Refusal

4.5 41
by Felix Francis

See All Formats & Editions

Dick Francis’s beloved investigator Sid Halley returns in the riveting new mystery by New York Times–bestselling author Felix Francis.

Six years ago, investigator Sid Halley retired for good. He’d been harassed, beaten, shot, even lost a hand to his investigating business, and enough was enough. For the sake of his wife and new daughter he


Dick Francis’s beloved investigator Sid Halley returns in the riveting new mystery by New York Times–bestselling author Felix Francis.

Six years ago, investigator Sid Halley retired for good. He’d been harassed, beaten, shot, even lost a hand to his investigating business, and enough was enough. For the sake of his wife and new daughter he gave up that life of danger and uncertainty, 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 adamantly refuses, but the following day, 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, knowing that once he submits to this criminal bully, he will forever be under his control. But as the intimidation tactics escalate—and Sid’s 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.)
Kirkus Reviews
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?
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

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
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

Meet the Author

FELIX FRANCIS assisted with the research and writing of many of the Dick Francis novels and is the coauthor of Dead Heat, Silks, Even Money, and Crossfire, and the author of Gamble and Bloodline. He lives in England.

DICK FRANCIS was the author of more than forty acclaimed books. Among his numerous awards are three Edgar Awards for best mystery novel, the Crime Writers’ Association Diamond Dagger, and the Mystery Writers of America’s Grand Master Award. He died in February 2010.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Dick Francis"s Refusal 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
zenyatta More than 1 year ago
Like so many others, I was thrilled that Felix Francis picked up the reins from his father, the legendary Dick Francis, and continued to write the clever, explosive and highly entertaining novels that they have both become famous for. And, I admit, I was a little leery when I learned that he was bringing Sid Halley back. This was one of Dick Francis' most beloved characters with multiple stories to his name and a highly complex person, to boot, but I was also quite excited to go along on another one of Sid's adventures. And what an adventure it is! Thai book is a MUST READ for every Sid Halley fan out there, and anybody who enjoys an absolute action packed story full of twists and turns that will leave you breathless. This is one of those rare books that once you finish it you put it down, take a deep breath, and start reading it all over again. Sid Halley is in good hands with Felix Francis, and I for one cannot wait to see if there will be another of Sid's adventures to go on.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book in one long sitting and wasn't able to put it down. I found it seamlessly crafted and really well plotted. It was so good to be able to read a really excellent Sid Halley book again. This polished presentation of Sid's life and adventures six years after we left him in Under Orders journeys from a gentle re-introduction of my favorite ex-jockey to several spine-jarring plot twists and a villain so, well, villainous, it's almost impossible to comprehend. (Just TRY not getting emotionally involved in this one!) Several new characters in Sid's world are beautifully presented and I was pleased to find old favorites as well. We arrive ultimately at an ending that is both tremendously satisfying and a bit cliff-hangerish (leaving me hoping and longing for more time with Sid one day). One of the most charming aspects of this story, as with all Francis books, is to be able to follow the main character's thoughts throughout; little random touches like an unexpected conversation with a psychiatrist or amusing observations of fellow passengers on a train are far from ordinary. And lovely slices of Sid's new life and the British racing scene are interspersed with surprises that will literally take your breath away. A purely enjoyable read. Can't wait for more from Felix Francis.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cracking good read,felix francis has brought back Sid Halley.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i like the Felix novels just as much as his father's and i look forward to more.
Reader42AS More than 1 year ago
Felix has done his father proud. I feel this is the best of the books that he has authored on his own. Coming of age so to speak. I hope he has another Sid Halley planned. Can't wait. Those who have read the book will know what I can't wait for. If you are a Francis fan, either Dick or Felix. you need to read this book. If you are not a fan, read it anyway and you will become one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm a big Dick/Felix Francis fan, and Refusal lives up to expectations. It's great to have Sid Halley back, and the plotting and suspense are as thrilling as ever. I hope Felix keeps writing as long as his dad did.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good story--love Sid Halley, even if I wanted to tell his wife to shut up already.
tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
It’s been six years since investigator Sid Halley retired, tired of the beatings, pressure and danger. Since then, he has lived a quiet life with his wife and young daughter, earning a living as an investor, trading money instruments and shares. He promised himself and his wife that he would not return to his former profession, but events proved the opposite when the chairman of the racing authority begged him to look into a series of questionable races. Following a familiar Francis formula, circumstances arise which force Sid to reverse his adamant refusal to undertake such an investigation. The day after his meeting, the chairman is found dead, a possible suicide, but Sid believes really murder. Then a telephone call from a man with a Belfast Irish accent menacingly demands that Sid write a report claiming the races were not suspicious. Thus, the stage is set for the expected scrutiny, danger to Sid, his family and associates, and confrontation with the culprits. The formula, which has been successful for about four dozen books by the Francises, pere et fils, works like a charm once again. Felix had now written four novels as a co-author with Dick, and this is the third one on his own. Looking forward with bated breath for the fourth. Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mackie77 More than 1 year ago
I was excited for a new Dick Francis inspired character, but I'd rather read Felix Francis on his own terms, not trying to write his father’s mysteries. I've noticed a difference in styles between the older books and the books from around the mid-90s, perhaps that is when the collaboration began. It seems as though the intent is to throw a lot of modern technology at the reader while the basics of the mystery and protagonists character are left behind. I don't care for Sid's family in the book; I don't feel a lot of sympathy for Sid’s his wife and child, which is rare (I can't say for a Dick Francis novel because it wasn't written by Dick Francis!).   Perhaps my opinion will change when Felix finds his own way within the mystery world. I don’t want to give away the book as a spoiler alert.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Much like previous books, wondered how the main character was going to be able to clear himself as well as help others. Enjoyed it very much. Enjoyed the feeling of the activity of horse racing and the interaction of the British style of this kind of life, which included the unfolding of events in solving the criminal activities, In one sense it put me into the plot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed all the racing details woven into the mystery.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Felix is following in his father's footsteps
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Felix has done a great job at continuing his father's Sid Haley story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another very good horse racing world story!
Carol-K More than 1 year ago
I have been a fan of DIck Francis books for 30+ years and was saddened to hear he passed away and I always looked forward to his new books! I have all the Francis books and I will definitely add Felix's books to my collections. Dick's son has picked up the mantle very nicely. Sid Hadley was one of my favorite characters in Dick Francis' books, and this sequel is great. It may not be as tense as some of the others, but it's really nice to see how his life turned out with his new family. This is a very easy read, enjoyable, enticing, and hard to put down once you get into the middle of the plot lines! I highly recommend and am anxiously awaiting the next entry of Felix's publications!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
fangirlKC More than 1 year ago
I have read all the Dick Francis novels and worried when he passed that would be the end, but Felix has managed to do it and do it well. I enjoyed the book immensely and look forward to the next. Well done Mr. Francis, your father will live on in you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An enjoyable read. I was sorry to hear of Dick Francis' passing but his son has carried on the tradition. Waiting for the next one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago