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Dead Cert by Dick Francis
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Dead Cert (1962)

by Dick Francis

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,0631712,204 (3.78)17
Horse racing can be a dangerous sport, but it becomes a deadly one when a champion is killed. As he rode through the thick English fog, jockey Alan York was looking at an all-too-familiar sight: the back of champion rider Bill Davidson astride the great racehorse Admiral. But this was one race York was destined to win. Before Admiral jumped the last fence, Bill Davidson would be dead. Alan knew racing was a dangerous sport: horses fell, jockeys got hurt. But he also knew this had been no accident. It was the kind of knowledge that could get a man killed.… (more)
  1. 00
    Death on a Quiet Day by Michael Innes (themulhern)
    themulhern: Another mystery where people are chased around the British countryside and horses are involved. This one was published in the late '50s, not the early '60s, though.
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English (15)  French (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (17)
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
First published in the US in 1969, this was the author's first mystery. It has many of the elements that are common to his books - the horses, jockeys, an amateur investigator, a first person narrator. I was going to compare it to the other Francis mysteries I've reread this year but it comes across as such a typical one that I don't see any point in attempting it. Anyway I read these for the action and the way he always seems to get horses into the story and don't pay any attention to the prose style.
  hailelib | Apr 1, 2019 |
Copy of review for copy-2 (discarded) re-read 2016-03-16.
One of the best of the early Francis novels, concentrating on the sport of racing and the psychology of jockeys. At the time, the radio-dispatched "Marconicars" were something new in technology, but are now totally common-place; one of the virtues of Francis's writing is that he stays grounded in the present at the time of composition, which gives his books a nostalgic quality when read decades later (as with the Lord Peter novels of Dorothy L. Sayers, and the Jeeves books by Wodehouse).
My one objection would be that there was not as much deduction as there could have been (and often is in his books), but that the hero missed some clear clues, although he did deduce who the villain had to be from other indications, and kind of fell into the final solution. ( )
  librisissimo | Mar 19, 2016 |
One of the best of the early Francis novels, concentrating on the sport of racing and the psychology of jockeys. At the time, the radio-dispatched "Marconicars" were something new in technology, but are now totally common-place; one of the virtues of Francis's writing is that he stays grounded in the present at the time of composition, which gives his books a nostalgic quality when read decades later (as with the Lord Peter novels of Dorothy L. Sayers, and the Jeeves books by Wodehouse).
My one objection would be that there was not as much deduction as there could have been (and often is in his books), but that the hero missed some clear clues, although he did deduce who the villain had to be from other indications, and kind of fell into the final solution. ( )
1 vote librisissimo | Mar 19, 2016 |
Book on CD read by Simon Prebble

Alan York is a wealthy man and an amateur jockey. He is riding well in this race but still a close second to his good friend Bill Davidson … until Bill’s horse falls and Alan finishes first. The victory is a hollow one because Bill is so seriously injured he dies in hospital. As Alan thinks over the race he is certain that there was something unnatural about the way Admiral took that jump. So, he goes back to the course to look at the jump where Bill’s horse fell. He finds a coil of wire – proof that the course was sabotaged. But by the time he gets a race official to take a look the wire is gone. Trying to figure out why someone would want to hurt his friend, Alan begins investigating and finds a network of corruption that involves much more than racing.

I am late to the party when it comes to reading Dick Francis, and I’m sorry I missed his work for all these years. He writes a good thriller. His plot is well-crafted and moves quickly. There are plenty of red herrings as well as legitimate clues. I thought I had it figured out, and was happy when I was proved wrong. A great ride!

Simon Prebble does a fine job on the audio version. He has good diction, great pacing and does a particularly good job on the thrilling chase scene.
( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 13, 2016 |
Alan York, who happens to have been trained in the art of detection by a mathematics teacher who was enthralled with Sherlock Holmes, is an amateur steeplechase jockey. When he sees one of his best friends die on the racecourse in suspicious circumstances, he sets out to find out who caused the death, and why.

This is a fast-paced story with an interesting setting, and characters that were not painful to be around. Not even the villain. I have to say, their reactions to life's setbacks weren't all that believable, and the bad guy was easy to sight, but it didn't bother me. I wanted to get on with the story, finish the race to the end, so to speak. I gave it three stars, because it was a good, galloping read. ( )
  MrsLee | Feb 9, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dick Francisprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hoff, TrulsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The mingled smells of hot horse and cold river mist filled my nostrils.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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