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John Francome - Author

About the Author

Ex-National Hunt Champion Jockey John Francome is a broadcaster on racing for Channel 4 and has established himself as one of the front runners in the racing thriller stakes. He lives in Berkshire.

Photograph © Robin Matthews

Featured books by John Francome

Other books by John Francome

False Start A deadly thriller set in the horseracing world

False Start A deadly thriller set in the horseracing world

Author: John Francome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/11/2018

When Charlie Patterson and Nick Ryder begin training together they strike gold in their first season. The two lifelong friends have been sent a yearling by Kate Scanlan, the attractive boss of a local animal rescue centre. Willow Star, as the scrawny filly is named, is sold to Major Patterson, Charlie's step-father, and the youngster quickly defies her looks by establishing herself as one of the fastest of her age. A stab at the following year's classic races is about to begin when, without warning, Major Patterson informs Charlie and Nick that he is selling Willow Star to another yard. The ambitious trainers see their chance of hitting the big time disappear when their attempts to deter the sale fail. What ensues is a thrilling tale of mystery that finds Charlie cornered, facing the impossible dilemma of having to choose precisely where his loyalties lie - with his best friend or with his family - and needing to solve a murder to stay alive...

Dark Horse A gripping racing thriller and murder mystery rolled into one

Dark Horse A gripping racing thriller and murder mystery rolled into one

Author: John Francome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/11/2018

Ten years ago, a car crash left a girl dead and four friends from racing school with a dark secret. Since then they have gone their separate ways and have managed to put the memory of that day to the backs of their minds. But when a hit-and-run sparks off a chain of unstoppable events, and a journalist starts asking questions, these men know that the truth of that day is about to come to light. In the world of flat racing, everything rides on reputation and there are those who would do just about anything to save their own necks and keep a secret buried...

Stalking Horse A gripping racing thriller with shocking twists and turns

Stalking Horse A gripping racing thriller with shocking twists and turns

Author: John Francome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/11/2018

Jockey Josh Swallow is about to retire and he's aiming to go out at the top. He's ridden over 1000 winners and landed all the big prizes in the sport - all except one. So he's determined that this season the title of champion jockey will finally be his. But it won't be easy. There's Ben O'Brien, the brilliant young Irish rider in his first full season who already has a lead on Josh in the championship race. And leading trainer Leo Lovall, once Josh's best friend and now his most bitter enemy. There's also someone else with a keen interest in Josh. She's his biggest fan, though he has no idea she exists. And hers is the kind of obsession that will never be satisfied - not even by murder...

Tip Off A deadly racing thriller with high stakes

Tip Off A deadly racing thriller with high stakes

Author: John Francome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/11/2018

It's every punter's dream to beat the bookmakers and Toby Brown is doing it regularly. The son of a top trainer, Toby has a telephone tipping service that is slowly bringing the old enemy to its knees. A plea from the bookmakers prompts a Jockey Club investigation which uncovers a plot of murder and jealousy where the stakes being played for mean more than just money - and where one horse, Better By Far, lives up to its name.

Dead Weight A page-turning racing thriller about courage on the racecourse

Dead Weight A page-turning racing thriller about courage on the racecourse

Author: John Francome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/11/2018

After a crashing fall, champion rider Phil Nicholas returns to racing, but though his body has healed, his mind has not. Flashbacks of his accident invade his dreams, rob him of his sleep - and freeze him in the saddle. While Phil is battling to overcome his fear, his weighing-room colleague Adrian Moore is viciously attacked after losing a race he should have won. It's the start of a vendetta by someone determined to hurt those who break the rules of racing. If Phil wants to save the sport - and the woman he loves - it's time for him to recover his nerve...

Inside Track Blackmail and murder in an unputdownable racing thriller

Inside Track Blackmail and murder in an unputdownable racing thriller

Author: John Francome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/11/2018

Inside Track is another jaw-dropping racing thriller from ex-jockey and TV broadcaster John Francome, with all the drama and colour of the racing world. The perfect read for fans of Felix Francis' Pulse and Triple Crown. 'There are some genuinely exhilarating descriptions of races that capture the tension and excitement, and could be written only with a jockey's insight' - Daily Mail Pippa Hutchinson is an aspiring young trainer, certain that given the right horses she is as good as anyone in the business. Until, that is, an owner removes two horses to another yard, and one shows dramatic improvement. She enlists the help of her brother, Jamie, once a star flat jockey, now trying to revive his racing career over fences after a harrowing term in prison. But former wild boy Jamie has his own demons to deal with, like the new challenge of jumps riding, the hostility of those who can never forgive him for a young lad's death - and the black wall within him that separates him from his past. What readers are saying about Inside Track: 'The best book he [John Francome] has written so far' 'An outstanding, compelling book from start to finish' 'Well written, well-paced and the way he portrays the differing characters is astounding'

Storm Rider A ghostly racing thriller and mystery

Storm Rider A ghostly racing thriller and mystery

Author: John Francome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 29/09/2011

In life, horse-fancier and antiques dealer Glyn Cole caused a heap of trouble - for his girlfriends, their jealous partners and his creditors. His two-year absence from the close-knit Berkshire horse community has been something of a relief. Broken bridges have been mended; lives have been rebuilt. And his disappearance has been a miracle for one individual in particular: the person who killed him. But now Glyn is back - in bizarre circumstances. A record-breaking storm has ripped his corpse from its ingenious hiding place. How did he get there and how did he die? Many have benefited from his absence - but who is no longer sleeping so soundly at night? It seems that, even in death, bad boy Glyn is as much trouble as he ever was...

Deadly Finish A fresh and exhilarating racing thriller of suspicion and secrets

Deadly Finish A fresh and exhilarating racing thriller of suspicion and secrets

Author: John Francome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/09/2010

It's summer, Royal Ascot, and life is good for young trainer Simon Waterford. He has inherited his father's top-class yard, his brilliant two-year-old has just won the Coventry Stakes and he is soon to marry his beautiful half-Brazilian girlfriend. But Mariana has a secret which would wreck her hopes of marriage - and which Geoff has found out. And he has threatened to tell Simon. On their way back from the races, two rough-looking young men pass lewd comments about Mariana. There's not much of a brawl - it's over too quickly and is hardly even-handed - but it leaves Mariana in a sea of blood tending to Simon's wounded face and Geoff lies dead on the floor. It's a tragedy, of course, but Mariana can't help but feel relieved. Her secret is safe, for now...

Final Breath

Final Breath

Author: John Francome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/10/2009

A gripping new racing thriller from bestselling author John Francome It's been over a year since Danny Clark's girlfriend Kirsty died in a horrific diving accident in the Caribbean. Danny was plunged into a time of bitter mourning but now he's back on his feet, with a lot of help from Kirsty's best friend, Tara. In fact, Danny has fallen for Tara in a major way. Danny's godfather Adrian Spring, who runs a racing stable, isn't at all happy about this. He can't help wondering how much Tara knows about the secrets that died with Kirsty. Secrets he'd prefer stayed secret for ever. Tara herself is uneasy: unconvinced that Kirsty's death was an accident, she fears that she might fall victim to a fatal 'accident' herself. And she's never been the paranoid type...

Free Fall A gripping racing thriller exploring greed in its deadliest form

Free Fall A gripping racing thriller exploring greed in its deadliest form

Author: John Francome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/01/2007

Jockey Pat Vincent has ambitions to become a wealthy sporting hero. But he knows his dreams will never be fulfilled so he's devised a brilliant new scam which, if he doesn't get caught, is guaranteed to make him rich. Pat's girlfriend Zoe is starting her second full season as an apprentice jockey. She has a chance of becoming champion apprentice, if she's not sidetracked by the disaster of her sister Harriet's unhappy marriage... Along the cliffs in Somerset a man walks his dog. Every day Andy Burns - Pat's partner-in-crime, Harriet's tortured husband - wrestles with his demons. But Andy would be better off keeping his thoughts on the ground - it's a long way down to the beach below.

Cover Up An exhilarating racing thriller for horseracing fanatics

Cover Up An exhilarating racing thriller for horseracing fanatics

Author: John Francome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 14/08/2006

What's the worse way to die? At the end of a rope driven by your own shame and despair? Or savaged in the jaws of a black-hearted stallion who has hated you for years? If only the bankrupt gambler and the stable girl were alive to give us the answer... Jockey Rob Harding has found something better than riding a big winner - breeding one. When his two-year-old colt Goldeneye takes the July Stakes at Newmarket in some style, it seems he can lift Rob's failing business out of the mire. But there's a tragedy waiting round the corner... Rob's head girl Ivana, a horse-mad beauty from the Czech Republic, would also revel in Goldeneye's triumph except for the terrifying reappearance of her sadistic ex-lover Milos. She's run a long way to escape from him - but it looks like she hasn't run far enough...

Lifeline A page-turning racing thriller about corruption on the racecourse

Lifeline A page-turning racing thriller about corruption on the racecourse

Author: John Francome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/03/2001

Unlike some jockeys, Tony Byrne has never taken a bung and never ridden a dishonest race. All the same, his career is heading for the rocks, dragged down by weight problems and woman trouble - and too many slow horses. In comparison, Freddy Montague has never been fussy about sticking to the rules, either on the racetrack or in bed with another man's wife. And if there's money on offer to fix races, Freddy's guaranteed to be first on the gravy train. Unfortunately for both men, the guarantees run out once Freddy's train comes off the rails. That's when the gravy turns to blood...

Safe Bet A shocking mystery unravels in the world of horseracing

Safe Bet A shocking mystery unravels in the world of horseracing

Author: John Francome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 11/03/1999

Only when it's too late does Mike Powell realise that he's wasted his talents as a jockey and spoilt his marriage. His riding career is in decline; his beautiful wife, Tessa, has left him. And, to cap it all, he's almost bankrupt, having tried to build a future by pinhooking. Then, on the way to the Sports Personality of the Year Awards, Mike is killed in a car crash. When his old friend Jed Harvard discovers that Mike's estate has been left to an American called George Parker - a man he's never heard of before - his suspicions are aroused. While tracking down George, Jed discovers that Mike's business deals have left a number of bitter enemies, and he realises that all is not what it seems...

High Flyer Blackmail and murder in an unputdownable racing thriller

High Flyer Blackmail and murder in an unputdownable racing thriller

Author: John Francome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/04/1998

Life hasn't been easy for Joey Leatham. As a tiny orphan he had to fight to survive. Then he escaped to a circus, where he was captivated by Nina Korsakov and discovered an affinity with horses, but a trapeze accident forced him to leave to join his brother as an apprentice jockey in Newmarket. Suddenly his lack of size is an advantage and Joey becomes one of the most sought-after jockeys in Europe. Success brings him happiness for the first time in his life. Then, by an ironic twist of fate, he is blackmailed. Despite his innocence, Joey knows that his tormentor could ruin his career as well as his relationship with Nina. When he discovers his only witness has been murdered, he fears he will be paying for the rest of his life. But how can he reveal the identity of his blackmailer? And how long can he hold out?

Dead Ringer A riveting racing thriller that will keep you guessing

Dead Ringer A riveting racing thriller that will keep you guessing

Author: John Francome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 11/07/1996

When twelve-year-old David Tredington vanished, his father, one of England's top breeders, vowed never to give up the search for his son. Now, fifteen years later, David has been found alive and well in County Mayo. When the charismatic young man returns to the family's Devonshire estate, he receives a mixed welcome. His elder sister, Lucy, distrusts him from the start. Jason, David's brother-in-law and David's cousin, George, are even less pleased to see another heir to the Tredington fortune. But David's natural skills as a jockey soon attract favourable attention in the steeple-chasing world. Then a terrifying accident leads to an innocent stable lad's death, and David suspects that his own life is in danger. Someone knows the truth about his past and wants him to disappear all over again. David must find out who and why before it's too late...

Break Neck An action-packed racing thriller

Break Neck An action-packed racing thriller

Author: John Francome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/07/1995

When apprentice jockey Rory Gillespie abandons his fiancee Laura Brickhill, in favour of trainer's daughter Pam Fanshaw, it's a decision made from ambition not love. And Rory has to wait ten years before Laura will forgive him. Now one of England's leading trainers, and married to property tycoon Luke Mundy, Laura asks Rory to ride her best horse, Midnight Express, in Cheltenham's Two Mile Champion Chase. Shortly afterwards, Luke is killed on one of Laura's horses and she is arrested for manslaughter. Rory won't desert her this time and, setting out to prove Laura's innocence, he discovers that there is more than one person who will benefit from Luke's death.

Outsider A fast-paced racing thriller of danger and skulduggery

Outsider A fast-paced racing thriller of danger and skulduggery

Author: John Francome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/08/1994

Already a leading jockey in his home country, Jake Felton comes to England to further his career and avoid confrontation with New York's racing mafia. But his plans to combine the life of an English squire with that of a top-flight jockey look like coming to a sticky end when he falls victim to a series of accidents that begin to seem all too deliberate. Aided and abetted by typical English rose Camilla Fielding, Jake discovers that he's been targeted by a ruthless and professional killer. And now he urgently needs to find out why...

Rough Ride A gripping racing thriller about a deadly web of corruption

Rough Ride A gripping racing thriller about a deadly web of corruption

Author: John Francome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/08/1993

When amateur jockey Archie Best receives a surprise legacy from an old family friend, it proves to have some unwelcome strings attached. The strange bequest points an accusing finger at Clive Drury, an influential and affluent businessman who mixes with cabinet ministers and has his wealthy fingers in every conceivable pie. Helped by his would-be girlfriend, Georgie - and distracted by the rather obvious charms of Drury's daughter, Amanda - Archie sets out to substantiate the extraordinary claims. But only gradually does he discover the extent of the web of corruption, and the deadly nature of his adversary...

Stud Poker A gripping racing thriller with huge twists

Stud Poker A gripping racing thriller with huge twists

Author: John Francome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/08/1992

When Paul Raven's ride at Plumpton crashes through the wing of the third last flight, it seems like one of racing's tragic accidents. But that doesn't explain why Paul's closest friend, Alex Drew, appears to be involved. Or why the fall that ends Paul's career should finally destroy Alex. Paul discovers a link between what happened at Plumpton and a sequence of other accidents apparently connected with a private poker school run by the wealthy property developer Clay Wentworth. Stud Poker seems to have little to do with the world of National Hunt racing, but by the time Paul is caught up in the dangerous game, other less honest players have stepped forward. And the stakes are high.

Stone Cold A gripping racing thriller about a horse race with deadly consequences

Stone Cold A gripping racing thriller about a horse race with deadly consequences

Author: John Francome Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/08/1991

It was only a horse race, but it could make Kelly Connor's reputation. Unfortunately there was more riding on Pendero's back at Ascot than a young jockey's career. There was the biggest gamble in the unsavoury life of trainer Harry Short. There was the decadent livelihood of Ibn Fayoud, the rich playboy son of an Arab sheikh. And for Jack Butler, the successful bookmaker, there was the sweetest, most dangerous deal imaginable... It was only a horse race, but it led Kelly Connor into a deadly international conspiracy of blackmail, seduction and murder.

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