By Dick Francis
(Berkley, Mass Market Paperback, 9780425210246, 304pp.)
Publication Date: March 7, 2006
For a generous commission, ex-prize-winning jockey Jonah Dereham reluctantly agrees to bid on a young steeplechaser on behalf of a wealthy American woman. But his life is thrust into danger immediately following the auction, when he receives a blow to the head by two thugs demanding ownership of the horse. Unfortunately, that’s just the beginning—and now Jonah must figure out the high-stakes game being played…before he becomes its next casualty.
Dick Francis (pictured with his son Felix Francis) was born in South Wales in 1920. He was a young rider of distinction winning awards and trophies at horse shows throughout the United Kingdom. At the outbreak of World War II he joined the Royal Air Force as a pilot, flying fighter and bomber aircraft including the Spitfire and Lancaster.
He became one of the most successful postwar steeplechase jockeys, winning more than 350 races and riding for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. After his retirement from the saddle in 1957, he published an autobiography, The Sport of Queens, before going on to write more than forty acclaimed books, including the New York Times bestsellers Even Money and Silks.
A three-time Edgar Award winner, he also received the prestigious Crime Writers’ Association’s Cartier Diamond Dagger, was named Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America, and was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2000. He died in February 2010, at age eighty-nine, and remains among the greatest thriller writers of all time.
“FEW MATCH FRANCIS FOR DANGEROUS FLIGHTS OF FANCY AND PURE, INVENTIVE MENACE.”
“EACH FRANCIS NOVEL SEEMS TO BE HIS BEST.”
—The Sunday Oklahoman
“FEW WRITERS HAVE MAINTAINED SUCH A HIGH STANDARD OF EXCELLENCE FOR AS LONG AS DICK FRANCIS.”
—The San Diego Union-Tribune
“DICK FRANCIS IS A WONDER.”
—The Cleveland Plain Dealer
“[THE] MASTER OF CRIME FICTION AND EQUINE THRILLS.”
“Adventure novels so gripping that they cry out to be read in one gulp—then quickly reread to savor the details skipped in the first gallop through the pages.”