8 December 2015

Review: DAMAGE, Felix Francis

  • first published Penguin Books 2014
  • ISBN 978-0-7181-7883-3
  • 437 pages
  • source: My TBR pile
Synopsis (Penguin Australia)

Jeff Hinkley, undercover investigator for the British Horseracing Authority, is looking into the shady activities of a racehorse trainer. But as he's tailing his quarry through the Cheltenham Racing Festival, the last thing he expects to witness is a gruesome murder. Could it have something to do with the reason the trainer was banned in the first place - the administration of illegal drugs to his horses?

Days later, it's discovered that many more horses test positive for prohibited stimulants, a scandal that could throw horse-racing into disrepute. It's no surprise when the BHA receives a demand - pay up or face the consequences. In order to limit the damage to the sport, it's critical that Jeff find the perpetrator . . . but he'll soon learn he's up against someone who will stop at nothing to prevail. Jeff's mental and physical well-being is tested to the very limit, even his life is put on the line.

My Take

I was a long time reader of Dick Francis' thrillers, and don't mind saying that, even though I knew he was a collaborator in his father's final books, that I did not really believe that his son Felix would amount to much. But DAMAGE proves that Felix Francis has made it on his own.

This novel continues in the tradition of tight thriller, with a believable plot, and clues for the reader to work on.  Management of the British racing industry by an independent authority comes under threat as the BHA discovers that at one particular carnival 66 out of 69 horses have tested positive to a banned substance. Blackmail demands for five million pounds arrive with an injunction that the police are to be kept in the dark.

Tightly plotted, believable, and well written.

My rating: 4.5

I've also read
Francis, Dick & Felix

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