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The Edge by Dick Francis

The Edge (1988)

by Dick Francis

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,069107,827 (3.94)11
Recently added byprivate library, flu1918, JewishHome, BrownvilleLibrary, drcmg, knersus, agkeery
  1. 01
    The Christmas Train by David Baldacci (SylviaC)
    SylviaC: Trans-continental train journeys full of railway atmosphere. The Edge has more suspense, while The Christmas Train is light and cheerful.

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» See also 11 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Goodreads' search engine needs a lot of improvement. ( )
  tcards | Jul 23, 2014 |
Goodreads' search engine needs a lot of improvement. ( )
  tcards | Jul 23, 2014 |
Canada, train travel, mystery -- what's not to love? ( )
  sswright46168 | Aug 29, 2013 |
In a recent court case against English racing identity Julius Filmer for conspiracy to murder all the prosecution witnesses mysteriously disappeared or ‘forgot’ their evidence and he was acquitted. When he gets himself on board the The Great Transcontinental Mystery Race Train which will take a week to cross Canada from Toronto to Vancouver full of international race horse owners and their horses people in authority are worried about what he plans. They ask Tor Kelsey, who works for the British Jockey Club’s security services to go on the train undercover to prevent Filmer from doing anything to disrupt the train or the events planned in towns across the country.

This is a re-read for me as I bought a bunch of Dick Francis audio books on sale recently and happily it is as good as I remember. What I like most about it is the really thoughtful characterisations. Tor Kelsey, who is independently wealthy but works anyway ‘to avoid the temptation of being able to have every sweet in the sweet shop’ is a typical Francis protagonist: intelligent, self-reliant, morally sound without being self-righteous and also has a sense of humour. It’s easy to dismiss this kind of character as unrealistic but apart from liking to think there are good people in the world I was struck by the credibility of Tor’s thoughts and actions all the way along. At one point in the story for example things are set up for two trains to crash and when Tor, given the task of stopping one of the trains before it rams the other, believes he has failed his emotional response is very real indeed. He not only worries about the possible injuries and damage but can also see into his own future and predict how terrible it will be to have to live with his failure every day. That combination of self-interest and concern for others felt very realistic to me.

Among the passengers on the train is the Lorimer family who are very wealthy and well-known but are happy to ‘do their bit for the good of Canadian racing’. Mercer, his wife Bambi and their two teenage children appear to have it all but as the story progresses the pain that the family is experiencing is teased out in a very touching way. The character of Filmer in some ways is very under-developed because we actually don’t see much of him until the end but it seems to me that he is explored via his impact on those around him as he sets out to exploit people’s fears over the possibility of having their personal secrets revealed.

As always with a Dick Francis novel there is lots of great detail about his chosen subjects, this time train trivia features prominently as do wonderful descriptions of Canada that made me want to get my passport out immediately. The plot is, of course, resolved very satisfactorily though there is some sadness too and overall I think this is one of Francis’ best yarns. ( )
  bsquaredinoz | Mar 31, 2013 |
Thoroughly [so to speak] enjoyed this book. Now I have to try another Dick Francis. ( )
  VictoriaJZ | Feb 22, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Once upon a time there was an ex-jockey named Dick Francis who wrote taut, fresh action-mysteries about racing (Dead Cert, Nerve, Forfeit, Bonecrack, etc.). For the past ten years or so, however, his fame has grown while his work has gotten ragged, strained, unreliable. And this new adventure--a formula train-thriller that's short on races, and virtually devoid of mystery--may well be Francis' weakest book yet. Bland narrator-hero Tor Kelsey is a millionaire but, for fun, works as a security-agent for the British Jockey Club. Most recently, he's been on the trail of sleek villain Julius Filmer, who's guilty of extortion and murder--but always manages to walk away scot-free. Then the Jockey Club learns that Filmer has booked passage on "The Great Transcontinental Mystery Race Train," a Canadian PR event that combines a posh rail-ride with special races and a silly "murder game" (complete with hired actors) along the way. What dastardly evil does Filmer have in mind? No one is sure. But young Tor goes undercover--just in case--as a waiter/actor. From Toronto to Vancouver, he watches as Filmer cozies up to a matronly (but shady) Thoroughbred-owner, and to the super-wealthy Lorrimore family. Blackmail, it would seem, is in the air--as is sabotage: all the familiar railroad cliffhangers are played out, halfheartedly. Some of the horses on board may also be in danger. And eventually, after some minor derring-do, Tor foils the foul Filmer at last--and uncovers the truth about the Lorrimore clan's truly ludicrous Deep Dark Secret. Lumpily padded, thinly plotted: a thoroughgoing disappointment for Francis fans--and not much fun even for fanciers of the luxury-train-in-jeopardy genre.
added by MsMixte | editKirkus Review (Jan 15, 1988)

» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dick Francisprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rantanen, AulisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I was following Derry Welfram at a prudent fifty paces when he stumbled, fell face down on the wet tarmac and lay still.
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This is the main work for The Edge by Dick Francis. DO NOT combine with any adaptation, abridgement, omnibus containing additional works, etc.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425204391, Mass Market Paperback)

A high-class, transcontinental horse-racing junket should be an idyllic getaway for the super-rich.

But one passenger on this train is a sociopath, a genius at blackmail and criminal corruption—and he plans to take everyone for everything they've got.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:18:46 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

To the Jockey Club, the racing world would be a better place without Julius Apollo Filmer. An expert in corruption with a devastating line in witness intimidation - and proving to be a slippery character to put behind bars. Baffled, they call in undercover security agent Tor Kelsey to keep an unflinching eye on Filmer and his associates. A mission that takes him from the finestof English racecourses to the wild Canadian interior - on a luxury transcontinental train journey to end them all. On board, a troupe of actors are playing out a murder mystery for the amusement of their diamond-studded passengers. Ideal cover for a secret investigator with secrets of his own. And better still for an ice-cool blackmailer for whom murder is just one of many options..........… (more)

» see all 5 descriptions

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