Dick Francis

Bringing his experience as a top steeplechase jockey to his writing, Francis is the undisputed master of the horse-racing mystery. Starting out with Dead Cert in the early Sixties, he still writes a novel a year. Each is eagerly awaited. The characterisation of the hero tends to be similar from book to book, but it is seldom that this British author delivers anything less than a cracking plot.

Not unexpectedly, most of his books are set in the racing world, but Francis manages to introduce interesting aspects from outside the industry. Toy-making is combined with horses in the High Stakes, and Reflex is fascinating in its use of the protagonist’s knowledge of photography.

For Kicks, Forfeit and Whip Hand have won major awards and in the 1989 Dick Francis was awarded the CWA crime writers’ Diamond Dagger for his overall contribution.

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