I m really digging these Dick Francis mystery books Granted, they are easy reading and not the deepest literature but they are well crafted and really give this anglophile a great sense of atmosphere and plot Two down and 38 to go. One of the better Dick Francis novels I have read A little less horseracing and a little James Bondish crime fiction in this one The characters were interesting and I enjoyed the gadgets, the intrigue, the suspense and the conclusion. Best Books, Straight Author Dick Francis This Is Very Good And Becomes The Main Topic To Read, The Readers Are Very Takjup And Always Take Inspiration From The Contents Of The Book Straight, Essay By Dick Francis Is Now On Our Website And You Can Download It By Register What Are You Waiting For Please Read And Make A Refission For You Champion steeplechase jockey Derek Franklin is nursing a broken ankle caused by a fall and an encounter with a horse s hoof when he receives a call that his much older brother Greville was in hospital after some scaffolding fell on him in Ipswich.Derek and Greville had reconnected only a few years earlier The nineteen year age gap was difficult for them to overcome until Derek became an adult himself Recently, though, they had been meeting for occasional dinners and exchanging occasional phone calls Derek rushes to Ipswich to be present when Greville passes away Then he has to try to settle the affairs of a man who was known for keeping secrets.Greville was a gem merchant with his own firm Derek has inherited it and all of his other property including his two race horses When he learns that his brother had purchased a number of diamonds for a famed jeweler, all of the employees at the firm are surprised The firm didn t deal in diamonds Worse yet, the diamonds are missing and the loan payment for them is coming due The racehorses are also a problem They are kept with noted trainer Nicholas Loder But Derek as a jockey can t own racehorses Derek gets bad vibes from Loder when he phones him to discuss the horses Loder is angry and also frightened This gives Derek two different mysteries to solve and someone doesn t want him to solve either of them Besides an attack when he is leaving the hospital after his brother s death, he also has to deal with break ins at the business and at Greville s home Then there is the car accident when the man chauffeuring Derek and a couple of horse owners from a race The driver is killed and it as a near thing for Derek who is trapped in the car.The story was fast paced and entertaining Derek was a wonderful character who is bright and observant and out of his depth trying to run his brother s business Like many of Dick Francis s characters, he is an honorable and bright man dropped into a difficult situation. Another clever mystery suspense novel from Francis, but one of the weaker I ve read The mystery itself is solid, and the scavenger hunt aspect inspired, but the characters here are a bit weaker The most interesting character dies in the first twenty pages, but to be fair, becomes interesting from there All in all, of interest to fans, but not a good place to start. This is a classic Dick Francis novel that incorporates horse racing into a broader story, in this case about gemstone sales There is a likeable and successful main character, Derek Franklin, who has to use his natural intellect in order to figure out who is trying to kill him The story moves along a fast clip and keeps the reader interested throughout There is suspense that keeps you guessing about what is actually going on under the surface. a classic Francis novel, a slightly vulnerable hero, picking up the mess from his elder brother s death, facing some hidden enemies as he tries to protect the gem wholesaler company and the employees As usual the story is well paced and flows right up the tumultuous ending Great stuff. Classic Francis with a great everyman hero, the gemstone industry, and racing If you like Dick Francis, you will like this one. Dick Francis is one of only a few male mystery writers I really love I don t know why there aren t , but I can give you several reasons why Francis is terrific First, his mystery thrillers are carefully plotted and always baffling Second, the pacing is usually spot on, with calmer scenes interspersed with scenes of tension in just the right proportions Third, his protagonists are all decent men trying to do their best they have an inner strength that comes out when they re tested, and they don t back down in the face of evil They re practical, cool under fire, rational and reasonable though enormously stubborn They re not unemotional, but they don t put their feelings out there for everyone to see, either we experience their feelings because we re inside the protagonists heads due to Francis s use of first person narration And finally, Francis s protagonists, and apparently Francis himself, think of women as human beings, and treat them with respect something that can t be said about some other male mystery writers Francis seems to have had the same respect for his wife, who was in many ways his collaborator on most of his books, doing much of the hands on research The author also knows how to grab you from the start Straight s opening lines pull you in even while they tell you exactly what to expect I inherited my brother s life Inherited his desk, his business, his gadgets, his enemies, his horses and his mistress I inherited my brother s life, and it nearly killed me.From there, the narrator plunges immediately into the story his brother s accident and death, the discovery that he is Greville s executor and responsible for his gemstone importing and wholesale business, the dawning realization that something is seriously wrong, and his determination to solve not only the puzzles his brother left behind but the mystery linked to them.Another thing I appreciate about Francis is that his secondary characters are three dimensional Even if they don t get much page time, they seem as real as the protagonist, if less well known and understood Which is as it should be, since all of Francis s novels are written in first person In Straight, several characters come vividly to life June, one of Greville s employees Clarissa, the woman he loved Prospero Jenks, a brilliant jewelry designer and artist Even the late middle aged Ostermyers, owners of a horse they want Derek to ride, are believable and real Francis excels at creating not just a character but a whole personality in a few perceptive sentences He s equally good with settings, although he keeps description to a minimum wherever it is unnecessary, and deftly conjures the necessary details almost without you noticing, enhancing rather than slowing the flow of the narrative.I ve read Straight at least four or five times over the last 28 years , and it remains just as good each time, even though I already know exactly whodunnit and why And despite being slightly dated in the details many of Greville s gadgets would today be contained in a smartphone, for instance , the mystery and its protagonist hold up remarkably well My one sadness is that there won t be any of them Dick Francis died in 2010, and while his son Felix has continued writing novels in a similar vein, it s never quite the same when another author takes over.Most of Dick Francis s mysteries are stand alones, but there is a four volume series featuring former jockey turned investigator Sid Halley, and a two book series starring jockey Kit Fielding All of his books have some connection with the horse racing world, or at least with horses, though not all his protagonists are jockeys If you love mysteries and you haven t read Dick Francis, I highly recommend you make his acquaintanceI tend to do a lot of rereading, a result of a childhood as a fast reader with limited library access To this day, I enjoy returning to favorite books.Review originally published at The Bookwyrm s Hoard. Straight has always been one of my favorite Francis stories, and I m not sure why The main topic gemstones holds absolutely zero interest for me, and neither do the clever gadgets that the main character has to figure out But maybe that s why it s interesting The chances of me ever wearing lots of gems, or getting involved in the industry in any way, are remote to say the least, which is part of the fascination Derek also has zero interest in gems to begin with, but, forced to run his brother s business after his brother s untimely death, he learns an appreciation for them, something Francis describes in almost sensuous terms.In fact, the whole novel is strangely sensuous, from the slippery, shimmering gems that Derek finds himself handling daily, to the erotic encounters he has with his brother s mistress, to the final life and death struggle in which Derek s many times broken ankle collapses under his weight at just the wrong moment, despite all his intensions to run on it and all the adrenaline coursing through his system, numbing the pain Francis at his best moments had an eye, ear, and nose for physical detail that rendered his writing incredibly alive.Balanced against the sensuality that courses through Straight, bursting out even from the title which refers to many things, including the main character s sexuality is the flip side of physical pleasure the destruction, psychological and physical, that the characters experience Rather than one explosive encounter, it s a slow process Derek s brother slowly slips away as his life support is turned off one machine at a time, key relationships slowly erode, and Derek s ankle is damaged over and over again, until it s rendered mechanically useless And then the two sides come together in a sudden epiphany, solving the final mystery of the book.Francis doesn t delve so much into social issues in Straight the way he does in some of his other books, and it doesn t have quite the same soul searching as books like Come to Grief and To the Hilt do, but, as befits a books about gems, it may be one of his most elegantly constructed and written books, the plot beautifully balanced, the language lapidary and clear A pleasure to read, whatever your inclinations are.
Sid Halley Mystery
- 320 pages
- Dick Francis
- 02 February 2019 Dick Francis