‘Dick Francis is on a winner all the way’ Observer
A beautiful Italian girl driving home in an open top sports car, a little boy playing on a south Coast beach and the Senior Steward of the Jockey Club on his way to a press reception in Baltimore. One after the other they suffer the same nightmare ordeal – kidnapping.
But there is one thing connecting these particular cases. For the Italian girl is a jockey and the little boy an only son of a horse race owner. A picture of the person behind this international chain of crime starts to emerge – a lover of Verdi, a man with a cool and calculating brain and an afficionado of the racing world.
Andrew Douglas, brought into advise and help the victims and their families, proceeds with all of his customary diplomacy and courage. Only to find himself playing a dangerous part: the role usually reserved for his clients…
It’s back to the book reviews again. Back to the fiction side of things with this thriller. DISCLAIMER: Spoiler alert!
First of all, I understand that it might be quite easy forming relationships with victims who have been kidnapped, but it is highly inappropriate for it to happen whilst in a professional capacity. Also a little worrying considering the age gap between two of the characters. (That may have been a tiny spoiler). Whilst it does happen in real life, it doesn’t make it any less comfortable for the reader to enjoy. For what is meant to be a thriller makes the whole thing rather distracting.
Secondly, it took a while to make the links between the chapters concerning who was really responsible. Those who might be responsible are quite two dimensional and thus highly implausible for the reader. This was one of the parts of the story that made it hard to follow because it was unclear.
For the more positive side of this book, as expected for a book like this it was fast-paced.
Whilst I made the second point above, in the grand scheme of this book, although fast-paced & characters (bar the three main ones) were 2D, I really liked the gradual reveal. I am going to make this one of the important parts of the book. Although features of the character’s personality will be in dribs and drabs, their identity might or might not be revealed until the end. A key feature of the thriller is to keep the reader guessing as to who it might be. But mine has a twist, it could be anyone of the characters who could be responsible. (Now there’s a spoiler – the first and last for now).
Finally, I really liked the role the horses had in this book, especially after the main event. It was intriguing to notice the difference before and after the main event. For the characters involved, it was interesting to note how it had turned from a vocation to animal therapy to overcome the trauma related to the main event.
Until next time, Reader.