6 February 2009

Review: DEAD HEAT, Dick and Felix Francis

Pan Macmillan 2008, ISBN 978-0-330-45482-7, 409 pages

Mass poisoning is every chef's nightmare and a black tie gala dinner at Newmarket on the eve of the 2,000 Guineas a most unlikely occasion. And follow that up with the explosion of a bomb at the races on the day itself.

Max Moreton is the Michelin chef whose reputation is in tatters after the dinner, his Newmarket restaurant is closed, and then many of the clientele for whom he is catering, and one of his staff, are killed in the bomb explosion. Max is determined to find out how the food poisoning occurred, certain that it wasn't his food that caused it. And when things begin to happen as he asks questions, he begins to wonder whether the two events are connected.

DEAD HEAT is good reading, a page turner with a credible chain of events, and background details that tell you it is written by authors who know their stuff: this time long acknowledged master Dick Francis together with his son Felix. Felix's role as researcher and in writing this and other recent novels is acknowledged in the blurb.

I've been reading Dick Francis for decades. He has written forty-one international bestsellers and is widely acclaimed as one of the world's finest thriller writers. His awards include the Crime Writers' Association's Cartier Diamond Dagger for his outstanding contribution to the crime genre, and an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Tufts University of Boston. In 1996 Dick Francis was made a Mystery Writers of America Grand Master for a lifetime's achievement and in 2000 he received a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list. For a complete list of books see the list at Fantastic Fiction. My review: SILKS, Dick Francis & Felix Francis

My rating: 4.4

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