Cover image for Second wind
Title:
Second wind
Author:
Francis, Dick.
Personal Author:
Edition:
[Large print edition].
Publication Information:
New York : Random House Large Print, [1999]

©1999
Physical Description:
403 pages (large print) ; 25 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780375408700

9780375707728
Format :
Book

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X Adult Large Print Mystery/Suspense
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Summary

Summary

The grand master of crime fiction gallops once again into the winner's circle with his extraordinary new novel, Second Wind. The catastrophic power of a giant hurricane can raise coastal waves thirty feet high and blow through houses at devastating speeds. For TV meteorologist Perry Stuart, however, such predictions are generally hypothetical, as he chiefly predicts periods of English drizzle with bursts of heavier rain and sunshine to follow. Stuart's profound weather knowledge and accuracy has given him high status among forecasters, but no physical baptism by storm. Not, that is, until a fellow forecaster offers him a Caribbean hurricane-chasing ride in a small airplane as a holiday diversion. But a frightening accident teaches Stuart more secrets than wind speeds...and back home in Enland he faces threats and danger as deadly as anything nature can evolve. Dick Francis "has simply never failed. Every one of his opening sentences pulls the reader in and doesn't let go until the last, perfect word," according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Second Wind may be his greatest triumph yet.


Author Notes

Dick Francis was born in Wales on October 31, 1920. Because his father was a professional steeplechase jockey and a stable manager, Francis grew up around horses, and after a stint as a pilot in the Royal Air Force during World War II, he became a steeplechase jockey himself, turning professional in 1948. He was named champion jockey of the 1953-54 racing season by the British National Hunt after winning more than 350 races and was retained as jockey to the queen mother for four seasons.

When he retired from racing in 1957 at the age of 36, Francis went to work as a racing correspondent for the Sunday Express, a London paper, where he worked for 16 years. In the early sixties, he decided to combine his love of mysteries with his knowledge of the racing world, and published Dead Cert in 1962. Set mostly in the racing world, he has written more than 40 novels including Forfeit, Blood Sport, Slay-Ride, Odds Against, Flying Finish, Smoke Screen, High Stakes, and Long Shot. He wrote his last four books Dead Heat, Silks, Even Money, and Crossfire with his son Felix Francis.

He has received numerous awards including the Silver Dagger award from Britain's Crime Writers Association for For Kicks, the Gold Dagger award for Whip Hand, the Diamond Dagger award in 1990, and three Edgar awards. He died on February 14, 2010 at the age of 89.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

In his fortieth novel, Francis introduces a decidedly unhorsey hero, BBC meteorologist Perry Stuart, who, with his best friend Kris, an amateur pilot, has long dreamed of flying through the eye of a hurricane. In an odd twist of fate, all the right circumstances fall into place: Hurricane Odin forms over the Caribbean; Perry and Kris have overlapping vacations; and Kris finds a wealthy Florida businessman willing to finance their adventure. As part of the deal, Kris secretly agrees to detour to tiny Trox Island and pick up a mysterious package. Unfortunately, Hurricane Odin has other plans for Perry and Kris, and their plane goes down in the storm-whipped seas. Ironically, Perry is cast ashore on Trox, which is deserted except for a herd of cows and a concrete bunker containing a safe full of strange-looking documents in assorted foreign languages. Rescued and back home in England, Perry finds himself the target of unknown assassins. Vowing to find out who's after him and why, Perry winds up playing secret agent and uncovering a plot to sell ingredients for nuclear weapons to terrorists. Francis offers up intrigue, adventure, and a gripping, fast-paced plot. This one is certain to please his legions of fans, even those who think they only like the racing mysteries. --Emily Melton


Publisher's Weekly Review

With his 40th novel in as many years, grand master Dick Francis isn't up to his usual high standards, but fans know that even a subpar Francis is in the 95th percentile. Here the typical Francis hero is a young Englishman of a vanishing breed: smart, self-effacing although very good at his job, polite and thoroughly decent. Perry Stuart is a well-known TV weatherman for the BBC who was orphaned as a child and raised by his beloved, now crippled grandmother, who remains tartly sensible ("If you can't fix it, think about something else"). Joining fellow BBC weatherman Kris Ironside on a flying jaunt into the eye of a Caribbean hurricane, Perry survives when the plane crashes and washes up on a tiny, apparently abandoned island where the houses were destroyed by the hurricane. In a hut, he stumbles across a safe containing a mysterious file folder whose contents he cannot decipher. After a crew wearing radiation-protection suits arrive by air to rescue him, Perry's troubles are only beginning, as he slowly becomes aware of a sinister scheme in which well-off people are brokering enriched uranium to foreign nogoodniks. Among the cast are mushroom mogul Robin Darcy and his flashy American wife, two old SIS spooksÄthink an aging James Bond and a tottery MÄand a beautiful nurse who is Perry's circumspect love interest. Perry continues to encounter danger: the sabotage of another plane he's on, threats by a muscle-bound thug in Grand Cayman. Francis's writing is smooth and intelligent, moving the reader right along, but the end of the book is more than a tad far-fetched. Still, ex-RAF pilot and champion steeplechaser Francis knows his stuffÄand of course race courses figure in the plot. BOMC main selection; Audio Books main selection; 3-city author tour. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Brilliance Audio is first out of the starting gate with this recording of Francis's 40th book, which may be one of his most compelling yet. The novel starts with Perry Stuart fighting for his life in the towering hurricane-driven sea and is a nonstop page-turner until the last word, taking us inside the modern worlds of meteorology, physics, and terrorism. Stuart, BBC meteorologist, has always wanted to fly through a hurricane. When he gets his chance, he finds that stormy weather is the least of his problems, for the safe harbor he finds on an uninhabited island will lead to later deaths and even targets Stuart for terrorist attacks. The performance by Michael Page is guaranteed to be a winner with mystery and suspense fans. This story shows that Francis, Grand Master of mystery and three-time Poe Award winner, has not retired from writing thrillers. Recommended for all libraries.--Theresa Connors, Arkansas Tech Univ., Russellville (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.