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Forfeit by Dick Francis
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Forfeit (original 1969; edition 2005)

by Dick Francis

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8801415,913 (3.71)48
When racing columnist James Tyrone is commissioned to write an in-depth study of the Lamplighter horse race, he becomes involved in the mysterious death of another sportswriter and a racing scandal.
Member:benfulton
Title:Forfeit
Authors:Dick Francis
Info:Berkley (2005), Mass Market Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
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Forfeit by Dick Francis (1969)

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English (13)  French (1)  All languages (14)
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
Sportswriter James Tyrone writes about horse racing. But something odd is happening with fellow race writer Bert Checkov – whenever Bert touts a horse, the horse loses badly or fails to show up for the race. Bert drunkenly confesses to Ty that he has sold his soul; and then falls to his death out of a seventh story window.

Ty discovers there is a rigged betting scheme and the bad guys expect Ty to be the next one to fall in line. Not only does he resist, but he must protect his paralyzed wife from murder and mayhem from people who will literally stop at nothing. And then there’s the lovely Gail, whom Ty is falling in love with, although he knows he can never leave his wife.

Ty is a conflicted and complicated protagonist. Like many of Francis’s main characters he has a heroic moral sense along with intelligence and physical strength to win through solving the mystery and a beating or three. In this one we see the character’s more human side as he wrestles with the moral dilemma of choosing between his beloved paralyzed wife and a woman who could be lover, companion and equal. ( )
  streamsong | Jun 6, 2019 |
Also this Dick Francis was exciting, even if more ran next to the racecourse than on the racecourse. This time investigates a journalist unrealities in the horse betting. On a large scale, bets on horses are placed in advance, but shortly before the start these horses are deducted from the race. The bets always go to the same person, since the regulations do not provide for a return of the wagers made. Who is behind these mafia bets and how can this person be caught? With what means of pressure are the horse owners blackmailed so that they do not let their horses start? The journalist puts himself and his loved one in the greatest danger.
Exciting from the beginning to the end. ( )
  Ameise1 | Mar 30, 2019 |
Fleet Street sportswriter James Tyrone accepts a commission to write a feature story for a magazine about the upcoming Lamplighter race. Ty is the last person to speak to a sports columnist for a rival paper before he falls to his death from his office window. Ty notices connections between the dead man’s recent columns and the outcomes of races that have to be more than coincidence. His pursuit of this story leads him into danger that threatens not just his own life but also the life of his exceptionally vulnerable wife.

In Ty, Francis gives his readers a hero with feet of clay. Ty has considerable demands on his time and money that force him to make moral decisions much more often than the average person has to do. He’s not always able to withstand little temptations, but he holds firm when it counts the most. I suspect that Ty won’t be my favorite Francis hero, but he may well be the most memorable for me. ( )
  cbl_tn | Mar 13, 2019 |
Not as easy a like as many [[Dick Francis]]'s mysteries, the people in this novel are under some pretty sever limitations. Ty works at a scandal sheet because the money is needed to pay for help caring for a paralyzed wife, and the young woman he meets Gail, has to work within boundaries she encounters because of her mixed race parentage and her requirement for financial rewards. The story is well done and very hard to forget. ( )
  quondame | Mar 6, 2019 |
I am rating this book rather highly "even though" it is formula fiction, even though you know a lot of things before you even set out: it won't be gory or disgusting or terrifying; the protagonist will be beaten up at least once; he will be a nice, unimposing guy who resists being pushed around; there will be a happy ending.

Is it bad to know these things in advance? I don't think so. They are part of why I keep returning to these books even though (there's that phrase again) they are not in a genre I normally enjoy.

Richard and Mary Francis (aka Dick Francis) thought carefully about their characters--not only about the details of their jobs and the physical world they occupy, but their relationships with other people, their self-doubts, hiccups in their personalities. They care about their protagonists and they describe a world in which terrible things can happen but which is peopled by and large by likeable or at least non-evil humans beings, many of whom deserve a better shake than they are getting. Secondary characters, while not always fully rounded, often are intriguing on their own merit and we watch their fates with interest and concern. And book by book the reader acquires a nicely rounded view of the racing world and the various occupations that are involved in it.

The authors are aware of the fact that beatings and murder aren't the worst things that can assail us. Crippling illness, anger and self doubt are sensitively dealt with, and characters are not only treated with compassion (in the midst of chaos) but are often invited to be bigger than they begin.

In Forfeit, James Tyrone faces danger and mystery, but he also faces his complex emotions around his wife, to whom he is devoted, and about his own behaviour. This one is a keeper.

I read the Francises when I want to put my mental feet up and be entertained with good writing, good pacing, good characterization, and thoughtful prose. There is a touch of humour and more than a touch of humanity in these misleadingly packaged novels.

Bravo and brava! Happy reading. ( )
  thesmellofbooks | Jul 13, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dick Francisprimary authorall editionscalculated
Talaskivi, SoiniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The letter from Tally came on the day Bert Checkov died.
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