Cover image for Dick Francis's bloodline
Dick Francis's bloodline
Francis, Felix.
Personal Author:
[Large print edition].
Publication Information:
Waterville, Me. : Thorndike Press, [2012]

Physical Description:
487 pages (large print) ; 23 cm.
"When race caller and television presenter Mark Shillingford calls a race in which his twin sister, Clare, an accomplished and successful jockey, comes in second when she could have won, he believes the worst: that she lost on purpose, and the race was fixed. That night, Mark confronts Clare with his suspicions, she storms off after an argument--and it's the last time Mark sees her alive. Hours later, Clare jumps to her death from the balcony of a London hotel; or so it seems. Devastated and guilty over her death, Mark goes in search of answers. What had led Clare to take her own life? Or was it not suicide at all? "--
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Author Notes

Felix Francis was born in 1953. He studied physics and electronics at London University and then spent 17 years teaching Advanced Level physics at three schools. He has assisted with the research of many of the Dick Francis novels including Shattered, Under Orders, and Twice Shy. He is coauthor with his father of Dead Heat, Silks, Even Money, and Crossfire. His works also include Dick Francis's Gamble which made Publisher's Weekly best seller list for 2011. His Title Dick Francis's Bloodline made The New York Times Best Seller List for 2012.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* The late Dick Francis, once a champion steeplechase jockey himself, specialized in showing readers racing from behind the scenes and from behind the horses' ears, as his early mysteries starred full-time jockeys who sometimes doubled as detectives. Then Francis branched out into sleuthing heroes who were out of the saddle but still connected with the racing world. Felix Francis, Dick Francis' son, researcher, collaborator, and, now, mystery-writing successor, continued this racetrack-centered tradition with his first novel, Dick Francis's Gamble (2011). This follow-up stars race announcer and TV presenter Mark Shillingford, whose height eliminated him from his dream of jumping horses early in his career. His twin sister, Clare, however, is flying high as a flat-race jockey Mark often announces the races his sister wins. But something in Clare's latest race bothers Mark; she appears to have drawn the horse up short, deliberately throwing the race. After Mark confronts Clare about this seeming fraud, she leaves abruptly, drives to London, and falls from the roof of a posh hotel. In classic Francis fashion, Mark's life shreds apart as he investigates his sister's death: he's consumed by guilt over Clare's apparent suicide; his girlfriend leaves him; his job is in danger. And then the journalist who defamed his sister after her death is killed at the racetrack. Francis knows how to control this wild run of a plot and also knows how to create a conflicted character in the midst of crisis. A stunning addition to the family line.--Fletcher, Connie Copyright 2010 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Francis ably follows in the footsteps of his father, Dick Francis, with his second stand-alone set in the English horse racing world (after 2011's Dick Francis's Gamble). Mark Shillingford, a TV commentator who covers horse races, is ridden with guilt over an argument he had with his jockey twin sister, Clare, after discovering that she was losing some races deliberately. In the aftermath of the confrontation, an angry Mark lets Clare's phone messages go to voicemail, a choice he regrets after Clare apparently leaps to her death from a London hotel window. Mark resolves to discover what really happened in the hotel room before the fatal plunge. Suspecting that his sister's cheating was more extensive than she admitted, he studies old video images of her recent races to spot a pattern that may identify those who wanted her dead to cover up the fraud. Fans will have a hard time distinguishing this solid thriller from the father's work. Agent: Philippa Brophy, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

When race caller Mark Shillingford's twin sister, Clare, plunges from a London hotel balcony, he investigates her death, which the police have labeled a suicide. That Clare, a jockey, admitted to throwing races and romancing a mystery lover complicates the range of suspects connected with her death. When someone attempts to kill Mark, he redoubles his familial sleuthing with personal urgency. Francis's last four novels were coauthored with son Felix, and since the elder Francis's death in 2010, his son has created solo entries in the series. AudioFile Golden Voice Martin Jarvis is a veteran Dick Francis narrator, and his reading enhances a tepid plot with BBC-announcer gravity. VERDICT Fans of Francis and of light mysteries will be rewarded by insider details about race announcing and a satisfying, cinematic, knuckle-biting climax.-Judith Robinson, Univ. at Buffalo (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.