Dick Francis’s Refusal-Felix Francis

Dick Francis’s Refusal
Felix Francis
Putnam, Sep 3 2013, $26.95
ISBN: 9780399160813

Sid Halley had been a successful steeplechase jockey until he injured a hand when he fell during a race. He became a successful private investigator mostly working the racing circuit. With successful investments insuring he had plenty of money, Sid, fearing threats to his beloved Marina and the battering he received, took an early retirement (see Under Orders by Dick Francis).

It has been six years since he gave up his sleuthing job, Sid enjoys rusticating with Marina and their six years old daughter Saskia. British Horseracing Authority Chair Sir Richard Stewart visits Sid asking him to look into racing doping transgressions in which someone is gaming the system. Sid has mixed feelings about returning to sleuthing, but leans towards refusal until Sir Richard allegedly committed suicide by monoxide poisoning while sitting in his closed car inside his closed garage. However, he is quickly reminded as to why he left the detective game when his actions place his loved ones as well as himself in peril.

Felix Francis proves DNA matters (with hard work) as he successfully brings out of retirement his late father’s most popular character in an exciting horse racing mystery in which Sid is less confident than he once was. Fast-paced and filled with action, readers will appreciate this strong entry as like Griffey Jr. and Sr. hitting back to back homers in 1990, Refusal is a winning ticket that pays tribute to the author’s dad.

Harriet Klausner

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