Roland Britten was an amateur jockey, and an accountant by profession, who woke up one morning and found he couldn't move his hands. he also could not see. and all he could hear was the noise of an engine, very close by. He finally decided he was lying in the dark to a generator. But why?" and where? And by whom? And what would happen next?
Roland Britten was an amateur jockey, and an accountant by profession, who woke up one morning and found he couldn't move his hands. He could also not see. And all he could hear was the noise of an engine, very close by. He finally decided he was lying in the dark, tied to a generator. But why? And where? And by whom? And what would happen next?
From the book's cover: "Roland Britten, accountant and champion steeplechase jockey, wakes to confusion. He's cold, blind, and can't find his hands. Something above prevents him from sitting up, and a rumbling din fills his hearing and rattles his bones. Obviously, he surmises, it is pitch-dark and he is bound near some kind of engine. but why? And where? And by whom?
All the staggering answers come when Roland manages a bold escape - then is quickly recaptured in a deadly game of cat and mouse. What is at stake is his very life, and that is worth any risk..."
As usual, Dick Francis, writes a fast-paced, exciting mystery/adventure. I found the ending unsatisfying, but the book as a whole is a good read.
Most Dick Francis novels begin with a strange happenstance stumbled onto by an intrepid hero who soon finds himself beat up and bound, fighting to survive, before he solves the crime and gets away with the girl. This one began with a hero who wakes to find himself locked up, without knowing why. The hero, Roland Britten, is an accountant who rides racehorses as an amateur. During his incarceration, he goes over his entire life trying to figure out who locked him up. He finds he's been put in a sail locker on a boat, and manages a daring escape onto the island of Minorca, where a spinster named Hilary Pinlock helps him evade his captors. Hilary proves to be a valuable ally later in the story, as well. Upon returning to England, Roland begins an investigation into a few embezzlers his testimony had sent to prison, as well as returning to work and trying to work out some puzzling discrepancies in the accounts of some clients. After riding in another weekend race, Roland is kidnapped again for several days, and then mysteriously let go. The location of his prison provides a few more clues to his captors, and Roland keeps digging. He meets a trainer's daughter who catches his fancy, and spends time romancing her while unraveling the mystery. When he finally figures out who kidnapped him and why, he stages a meeting with the culprits, who have friends he hadn't counted on. Roland finds himself bound again while the villains escape. He is eventually rescued by his love interest and Hilary Pinlock, and explains the whole scenario, wrapping up the story. Like most Dick Francis novels, this one is peopled with colorful, English characters that liven up the darker violence and mystery. This one didn't disappoint at any turn.
Dick Francis never disappoints
Another unique story by Dick Francis. An outstanding story
This is another early work of Francis but much better than Smokescreen. It moves fairly quickly. I can recommend it.
A page turner with horses.
For an abridged reading, this one is very good. The story itself is superb! An accountant who knows all the financial connections between villagers, and a jockey who rides for the thrill of it but not as a professional finds himself held captive for no apparent reason. The desperation and futility of his helplessness and the terror and joy of escaping keeps you on the edge of your seat. Dick Francis is ALWAYS a good read.
Wonderful mystery, as usual from Dick Francis.
Please note that this is an abridged version.