Crisis by Felix Francis

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Crisis by Felix Francis

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Category: Thrillers
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Peter Magee
Reviewed by Peter Magee
Summary: An entertaining and fast-moving story from a man who is rapidly outpacing his father and which will appeal not just to fans of horseracing.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 432 Date: September 2018
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1471173110

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By training Harrison Foster is a lawyer, but he's working as a crisis manager for a London firm. He was called to Newmarket after a fire in a stable killed six very valuable horses, including the Derby favourite. On the surface, it looked like a simple fire, but it wasn't long before Harrison discovered that all was not as it seemed, not least because there were human remains along with the charred bodies of the horses. As all the staff were accounted for, who was the human victim? Harrison was completely new to the world of thoroughbred racing: in fact, he knew little about horses and positively disliked them.

When this book landed on my desk I had in mind to read it over a few days: in fact, I had thought to take it on holiday with me next week. Just to be certain, I decided to read the first few pages: I stayed up late last night to finish the book.

What intrigued me about this book is that it's written from the point of view of someone who dislikes horses and who has absolutely no knowledge of racing. I'm used to Felix Francis' novel (and his father, Dick Francis, before him) being written from the perspective of people who are totally immersed in the world of thoroughbred racing. Anyone picking this book up who similarly has no knowledge of racing need not fear that they will be left behind and might even develop an interest in the sport as a result. On the other hand, people who follow racing (and I follow it quite closely) may pick up a few choice nuggets along the way.

It's a great story which pulls you along at a cracking pace. The plot involves a racing dynasty - a retired trainer and his three sons - but they're not the only ones who jump off the page and come alive. You discover early on that there's friction within the family and the tension ramps up as the plot develops. Despite his dislike of horses, you can really warm to Harrison and there was simply no way that I was going to put the book down before I found out what happened.

I used to read Dick Francis' racing novels and I could always be certain that he had the inside knowledge to back up the plots. I did wonder if I would feel the same way about his son's books but I've been more than pleasantly surprised and I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If you'd like more from Francis we can recommend Front Runner, Pulse and Triple Crown. You could try Dead Heat (A Harry Radcliffe Mystery) by Glenis Wilson but Crisis is by far the better book.

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