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Crisis by Felix Francis


by Felix Francis

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614296,593 (3.81)3
Harrison Foster is summoned to Newmarket after a fire in the Chadwick Stables kills six very valuable horses. There is far more to the 'simple' fire than initially meets the eye. For one, human remains are found among the equestrian ones. Who is the mystery victim? Harry is thrust unwillingly into the world of thoroughbred racing where the standard of care of the equine stars is far higher than that of the humans who attend to them. Can Harry solve the riddle before he is bumped off by the fallout?… (more)



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This is a fast-paced crime thriller set in the present day English house-racing countryside. It's a good example of the traditional "Dick Francis style" novel which is being carried on by his son, Felix Francis.
Crisis management expert Harry Foster is sent to Newmarket to investigate a horrific stable fire that resulted in the death of 7 thoroughbred horses. Two of them were owned by Harry's client, a wealthy Middle Eastern royal. The royal employs the stable owners, the Chadwick family, as his trainers and entrusts them with his valuable horses. They are a family business, consisting of a father and three sons. Things turn really ugly when human remains are found in the debris and it becomes a murder investigation for Harry and the local police.
Harry is a newcomer to horse-racing and a large portion of the story is devoted to his education into this world. It makes for interesting reading and blends well into the murder mystery storytelling.
Harry is an attractive protagonist and narrator. He's a thirty-something lawyer who moved to London from rural Devon in a big career move several years ago. His parents have not forgiven him for leaving his hometown. Unlike some Francis protagonists, Harry is unflawed -- no vices or blemishes. The same cannot be said for the Chadwicks. They are a dodgy bunch and Harry gets swept into their stormy world as he investigates the fire and murder. The outcome is sordid, proving the maxim that true evil can be prosaic.
"Crisis" is an entertaining read, nothing spectacular, but a solid crime fiction novel. It's not as violent as some of the DIck Francis novels although Harry is put in jeopardy at least once. Any sex takes place offstage and the violence is muted. Recommended. ( )
  BrianEWilliams | Aug 3, 2019 |
This novel operates as a stand-alone, introducing a new investigator.

It enters the racing industry from a new perspective with a very likeable central character. In part the novel is a romance, which increases the audience sympathy for Harrison Foster.

The source of this crisis comes from the past, biting back at Oliver Chadwick, head of a very dysfunctional family, and there is not one of the family who is not really responsible for something.

There is some good detail in the background given for the thoroughbred racing industry based at Newmarket.

Very readable and up to Felix Francis' usual standard. ( )
  smik | Aug 1, 2019 |
Enjoyable basic thriller by Felix Francis. ( )
  infjsarah | Apr 27, 2019 |
I was a little hesitant about reading this book. I really liked the mysteries by Dick Francis, although some were a little over-violent for me, but I was skeptical about how well his son would do. Actually, extremely well. This was a good mystery with solid suspense and interesting characters. I also learned a lot about English horse racing, which I liked a lot. ( )
  phyllis2779 | Feb 13, 2019 |
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