Well, this was disappointing. I’ve enjoyed every other horse-racing mystery from Dick Francis that has come along and it is obvious that dad did not have a lot of input on this novel. Yes, it is a horse racing mystery…well, at least, it takes place in Lambourn and the nasty events are happening to a horse trainer.
Tom Forsyth is on medical leave after losing a foot in Afghanistan and soon discovers that his mother, noted horse trainer, Josephine Kauris, is being threatened. Using his battle skills, Tom soon uncovers the mystery behind the threats.
Unfortunately, while the formula is followed, no real tension is created. It’s weird because the words are there but I just am not feeling it. Part of it is because, I cannot believe that a captain in the British army with 15 years of experience could be so dumb. He’s held captive for over a day before he thinks that, maybe, he’d better get himself out of it? He goes on stakeout but doesn’t think that seriously about his practical camouflage? Half way through the day, he thinks of a camera…duh… The best method of achieving leverage is to sleep with one of the perpetrators and then take pictures of her naked…could we get a little bit of tension going here…???
Then there’s the ending. Yes, it’s a tidy ending but not very realistic. I mean, sure Tom talks about how the horses and dogs were his friends as a child…doesn’t make him a horse trainer.
There’s just no passion in this one.