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Front Runner by Felix Francis

Front Runner

by Felix Francis

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1158161,561 (3.56)5
"Jefferson Hinkley is back in the newest Dick Francis thriller by the New York Times-bestselling author of Damage. In his role as an undercover investigator for the British Horseracing Authority, Jeff Hinkley is approached by a multi-time champion jockey to discuss the delicate matter of losing races on purpose. Little does he know that the call will set off a lethal chain of events, including the apparent suicide of the jockey and an attempt on Hinkley's own life. Never one to leave suspicious events alone, Hinkley begins investigating the jockey and the races he may have thrown. But there are others out there who intend to prevent his inquiry from probing further. at any cost"--… (more)



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Felix is getting better as a writer, but he still does not have his Dad's insider's command of racing, although he probably does better than most with the sport. ( )
  librisissimo | Jun 6, 2019 |
I think it is high time that we admitted that Felix Francis isn't just his father's son, that he writes a cracking good novel all on his own. Publishers could take " A Dick Francis novel" byline off the cover.

Jeff Hinkley first appeared in DAMAGE His work with the BHA involves hunting down gradt and corruption in the British Horseracing industry. The BHA gets a phone call tip that someone is putting on bets for a banned person and in checking this out Hinkley works out that the scheme also involves jockeys deliberately losing races. In the course of a day he is invited to a private room at the race course where he sees two men having an argument. He does not realise the significance of his observation at the time, but takes a photo of them on his phone. This will eventually have serious consequences.

The characters in this story are well drawn and the plot quite believable, with the action fairly racing along. Certainly if you enjoyed the novels written by Dick Francis you will enjoy this one. ( )
  smik | Mar 31, 2017 |
The Francis thrillers are always quick, easy reads and this is no exception. This one is very much to the formula as a sole protagonist chases the bad guys who for no apparent reason want to kill him. The reason is an interesting one and maybe not as far fetched as you think. Panama Papers anyone? I really didn't like the romance plot though - it would have been a better book without the woman at all. ( )
  infjsarah | Aug 28, 2016 |
Jeff Hinkley is an investigator for the British Horseracing Authority. When the story begins he is dealing with some depression because his long-term girlfriend has moved out and taken up with a man who has a much less dangerous lifestyle. Jeff is also called be a friend who is also a jockey who has an interesting story to tell. He is being blackmailed to throw races. Jeff begins investigating and the next thing he knows someone attempts to kill him and succeeds in killing his jockey friend.

Meanwhile, he attends a luncheon at a racetrack upon the invitation of the man who owns the horse he saved from kidnapping in the previous book and also meets an interesting woman. Henri Shawcross is a British socialite who runs her own business. She is there with her uncle Sir Richard Reynard who is considering purchasing some race horses of his own. Before their relationship can really develop, Jeff is attacked again this time by two men with knives.

When Jeff gets out of the hospital, he continues to investigate the blackmailing scheme and furthers his romance with Henri. She invites him to spend Christmas with her and her family - her uncle and his wife, her cousin and his wife - in the Cayman Islands. This should get him away from further murder attempts but it does not.

This was an interesting story filled with lovely descriptions of the Cayman Islands, lots of information about diving, and great details about British horseracing. I enjoyed it very much and hope that Jeff Hinkley's adventures are not over. ( )
  kmartin802 | Aug 8, 2016 |
Not the best book by Felix Francis. The motive for murder was really weak, the thought of a socaialitte being interested in Jeff Hinkley is far-fetched and the character development was rather poor. ( )
  skraft001 | Mar 4, 2016 |
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