Second Wind

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9780515129236: Second Wind

When his plane goes down during a hurricane, weatherman Perry Stuart is stranded on a desolate Caribbean island. And what he sees there gives him zero chance of survival.

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Review:

Dick Francis's legion of admirers can relax: his year off from writing since the 1998 publication of Field of Thirteen is over, and a new vigor has entered his style. Longtime readers will be happy to find the customary racetrack skullduggery, galvanized by some fascinating new elements.

The very opening of Second Wind signals something new, with Francis's protagonist, meteorologist Perry Stuart, fighting for his life as he flies through the eye of storm on Trox Island, a blighted place steeped in guano and harboring a nasty secret. "But now, as near dead as dammit, I tumbled like a rag-doll piece of flotsam in towering gale-driven seas that sucked unimaginable tons of water from the deeps ...."

When the reader encountered details of the racing world in Francis's earlier thrillers such as Whip Hand and Reflex, they had the satisfying ring of authenticity. The same is true in Second Wind--Stuart's character was developed with the help of BBC weatherman John Kettley.

Although this is a new venue for Francis, he still has a knack for quickening the reader's pulse with a few carefully chosen words: "Despair was too strong a word for it. Perhaps despondency was better. When they came for me, they came with guns." --Barry Forshaw

From the Inside Flap:

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.

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