Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Silks by Dick Francis and Felix Francis

Main character: Lawyer Geoffrey Mason
Location: London, mostly
Time period: Contemporary
Genre: Adult Fiction, Mystery, Horse racing

Though Dick Francis novels are not in the the subset of mysteries known as "British cozies," they are still very comforting. You know that the hero will be at heart a thoroughly decent fellow who will somehow become the target of villainous thugs but will ultimately prevail. Oh, and there will be horses on the racetrack.

Geoffrey Mason is a defense lawyer in London's Old Bailey but his heart belongs to steeple chasing; he is an amateur rider on his own horse though he knows that he's getting a bit long in the tooth for it. Through his riding, he is on nodding acquaintance with professional jockeys Scot Barlow and Steve Mitchell. When Scot is murdered and Steve is the prime suspect, Geoffrey is the one Steve turns to for help. Soon after, Geoffrey becomes the target of harassing phone calls, mysterious notes, and threatening photos.

Dick Francis is now writing with his son, Felix, who gets co-author credit, but the story is vintage Francis. I noticed a few places where he repeated himself, but those were easily forgiven. The storyline moves forward at a steady pace, the descriptions of the horse races are vibrant and heart pounding, and it all comes to a very satisfactory conclusion. What more can you ask for?

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