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Damage by Felix Francis
  

Damage

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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

September 2014 Book of the Month.

The late Dick Francis collaborated with his son Felix on several books before his death in 2010. This is now the fourth by Felix alone, and fans will not be disappointed. Felix was not involved directly in the racing world but the detail here seems convincingly authentic. It involves extortion as the British Horseracing Authority, a body that regulates the whole of the racing industry, is held to ransom by a cunning and ingenious villain. The hero, Jeff Hinkley, is an undercover investigator for the BHA and cleverly unravels the identity of the perpetrator in a thrilling chase. Jeff is, typically, a likeable, well-rounded character whom we instantly warm to. He is also given the task of clearing the name of his sister’s step son of peddling drugs and in this sub-plot we encounter jealousy and homophobia as well as an insight into cancer care as the sister, Faye, is a sufferer. I felt a little let down by the final few pages of the book but was gripped by the previous four hundred plus pages.

If you like Felix Francis you might also like to read books by A. P. McCoy, Lyndon Stacey and John Francome.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. Another Felix Francis novel that bears the sobriquet ‘A Dick Francis Novel’. Jeff Hinkley is a resourceful undercover investigator for the British Horseracing Authority and is used to double-dealing and crooked behaviour in the equestrian fraternity. Investigating the unorthodox activities of a racehorse trainer at the Cheltenham Racing Festival, he finds himself investigating a brutal murder – but is the death related to the initial reason for the banning of the trainer: the administering of illegal drugs to horses? As earlier Felix Francis outings such as Silks demonstrated, the Dick Francis franchise is doing well in the hands of his heir. Francis fils had been involved with his father’s novels in various capacities for over forty years and is notably adept at forging a simulacra of the familiar style. The original flavour is here, the plotting is sold and watertight, and Dick Francis fans won’t complain.
~ Barry Forshaw

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Synopsis

Damage by Felix Francis

The stakes are higher than ever in Damage, the fourth solo novel from Top Ten bestseller Felix Francis. Jeff Hinkley, undercover investigator for the British Horseracing Authority, is looking into the shady activities of a racehorse trainer. But as he's tailing his quarry through the Cheltenham Racing Festival, the last thing he expects to witness is a gruesome murder. Could it have something to do with the reason the trainer was banned in the first place - the administration of illegal drugs to his horses? Days later, it's discovered that many more horses test positive for prohibited stimulants, a scandal that could throw horse-racing into disrepute. It's no surprise when the BHA receives a demand - pay up or face the consequences. In order to limit the damage to the sport, it's critical that Jeff find the perpetrator ...but he'll soon learn he's up against someone who will stop at nothing to prevail...

Reviews

'The Francis flair is clear for all to see' Daily Mail

'From winning post to top of the bestseller list, time after time' Sunday Times

'The master of suspense and intrigue' Country Life

'A tremendous read' Woman's Own

About the Author

Felix Francis

Felix Francis is Dick Francis’s youngest son. Born in 1953, Felix studied Physics and Electronics at London University and then embarked upon a 17 year career teaching Advanced Level physics at three schools, the last seven as head of the science department at Bloxham School in Oxfordshire.

Felix remembers conversations around the Francis breakfast table being somewhat unconventional. “The production of a Dick Francis novel has always been a mixture of inspiration, perspiration and teamwork. The first one was published when I was nine, and I grew up in a house where breakfast talk would be about the damage a bullet might do to a man’s guts rather than the more mundane topics of everyday life”, he says.

Over the past 40 years Felix assisted Dick with both the research and the writing of many of his novels. They shared a love of racing and often worked together on plot and character details at Dick’s home in the Cayman Islands. This partnership allowed Dick to draw upon Felix’s knowledge and experience as a physics teacher in Twice Shy and his past as an international marksman in Shattered (2000) and Under Orders (2006).

With the publication of Dead Heat in 2007, Felix took on a more significant role in writing. Silks (2008) was the second novel in this father-and-son collaboration and Even Money (2009) was the third. Crossfire (2010) was the novel Dick and Felix Francis were working on when Dick died in February 2010, marking the end of one chapter and the beginning of another in the Dick Francis brand.

Dick Francis was acclaimed as one of the greatest thriller writers in the world and he wanted his legacy to live on through his son, Felix, and the novels that they planned together. Gamble, which was published in September 2011, was the first Dick Francis novel written by Felix Francis, with Bloodline following suit in 2012. His latest book, Front Runner, was published in September 2015.

Author photo © Debbie Francis

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Book Info

Publication date

11th September 2014

Author

Felix Francis

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Author's Website

hrismorganjones.com/

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Publisher

Michael Joseph Ltd an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd

Format

Hardback

Categories

Thriller / Suspense
Books of the Month
Crime / Mystery
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ISBN

9780718178826

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