Dick Francis has written so many bestselling mysteries, it's mind boggling. He excels in crafting enormously engaging, civilized whodunits, which go down smooth as cognac. Mr. Francis has a habit of introducing elements from the racing world into his novels (for those not in the know, Francis used to be a jockey). Yes, it's true that his heroes all come from the same mold and the stories do contain certain formulaic elements, but I think Francis's magic lies in the humanity and empathic nature with which he cloaks his protagonists. His heroes are all too human, all too flawed, and uniformly unassuming with a British reserve. Yet, without exception, they all have unexpected pluck, hidden strength, and the inner fortitude to do the right thing. In four decades, Mr. Francis has written some of my favorite mysteries: Forfeit, Rat Race, Reflex, Hot Money, The Edge, The Danger, Decider, and To the Hilt. And then there's "Nerve"
Nerve holds a special place in my heart. I first stumbled across Dick Francis's mystery books years ago when I was a kid thumbing thru a Reader's Digest book. That book contained a condensed version of Nerve, which I went thru in a flash. As soon as I could, I went to the public library and borrowed the full-length version and tore thru that one, too. Since then, I've read everything that Dick Francis has ever written and I've enjoyed every one tremendously (even his anthology Field of Thirteen), but, thru the years, I've come back again and again to Nerve and its charismatic hero Rob Finn. It's just such a darn good story.
Nerve, published in 1964, was only Francis's third novel at the time. Yet, even back then, he had what it took to tell a captivating, suspenseful story.
About a jockey who is set up to think he's lost his nerve, this book is spellbinding from start to finish. In reality, the jockey is set up and slowly uncovers the elaborate plot to take him down as well as many jockeys around him. Never a dull moment!
A rumor starts that a jockey has lost his nerve, and things continue to go downhill. But he is not the first jockey to be ruined by the rumor mill lately, and he sets out to find the person responsible. As usual, Dick Francis spins a complex web of intrigue, and one that leads to an exciting and suspenseful finish. Definitely worth a read!
So many brilliant books from Dick Francis. This is one of his best. The first sentence from the book says,"Art Mathews shot himself, loudly and messily, in the center of the parade ring at Dunstable races." WOW, what a beginning! How can you help but want to read on?
A mystery writer from England, Dick Francis is able to paint an interesting picture of England's horse racing scene, especially with regard to the good and not-so-good people who are part of this lifestyle. Justice usually triumphs in unexpected ways.
From bestselling author Dick Francis, Nerve is the story of a struggling young jockey--a misfit in a family of accomplished musicians--who discovers that his troubling losing streak is caused not by a lack of skill or confidence, but by something far more sinister.
AMAZON.COM BOOK DESCRIPTION
Nerve is the story of a struggling young jockey--a misfit in a family of accomplished musicians--who discovers that his troubling losing streak is caused not by a lack of skill or confidence, but by something far more sinister.