Fiction Dick Francis 10-lb. Penalty

ISBN 13: 9780399143021

10-lb. Penalty

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9780399143021: 10-lb. Penalty

Entering the political arena as the trusted confidant of his politician father, ex-jockey Benedict Juliard finds himself the target of a vicious attack by his father's dangerous enemies, an assault that could not only destroy his own reputation but that of his father, a prospective prime minister. 275,000 first printing. BOMC Main.

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Review:

One of the most impressive aspects of Dick Francis's long and celebrated career (he's won three Edgar Awards, the Silver Dagger, the Gold Dagger, a Cartier Diamond Dagger, and was named the 1996 Mystery Writers of America Grand Master) is the freshness that he brings to each of his novels. Though every one of his 30-plus works of fiction has drawn from some aspect of the world of horses, Francis turns this constraint into a powerful source of inspiration. In 10 Lb. Penalty Francis adds several new arrows to his quiver. His protagonist, Ben Juliard, narrates the tale in a vivid first person that begins in his insecure late teens instead of the settled middle age of the usual Francis hero. Also, Ben's relationship with horses is more of a fading dream than an active reality. The book begins with Ben's expulsion from Vivian Durridge's stables; he's removed with a false accusation of glue sniffing. But as Ben soon discovers, it is, in fact, his powerful father's machinations that are behind his ill fortunes. The elder Juliard is "standing for Parliament," and the bachelor candidate needs his son by his side for a year of campaigning if he hopes to win. Ben accedes to his father's wishes. He almost always has, but he soon finds that his "gap year"--his year before entering college--is going to be a nightmare. Orinda Nagle, the widow of the recently deceased Hoopwestern MP, and her companion, Alderney Wyvern, resist George's campaign from the start. Then, Usher Rudd, a muckraking journalist, turns his vitriol to George. When an attempt is made on George's life, he and his son find themselves inside a vigorous tale of suspense that takes several narrative years to sort out.

Francis's lucid prose is the driving force in this political mystery, and the realistic rendering of the complicated father-son relationship between George and Ben adds a sophistication and weight that marks the author's best fiction. --Patrick O'Kelley

About the Author:

Dick Francis was one of the most successful post-war National Hunt jockeys. The winner of over 350 races, he was champion jockey in 1953/1954 and rode for HM Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, most famously on Devon Loch in the 1956 Grand National. On his retirement from the saddle, he published his autobiography, The Sport of Queens, before going on to write forty-three bestselling novels, a volume of short stories (Field of 13), and the biography of Lester Piggott.During his lifetime Dick Francis received many awards, amongst them the prestigious Crime Writers' Association's Cartier Diamond Dagger for his outstanding contribution to the genre, and three 'best novel' Edgar Allan Poe awards from The Mystery Writers of America. In 1996 he was named by them as Grand Master for a lifetime's achievement. In 1998 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List of 2000.Dick Francis died in February 2010, at the age of eighty-nine, but he remains one of the greatest thriller writers of all time.

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