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No such worries in a Francis novel. The point of view is first person, you are the main character as you read the story usually the character of Mr. The hero is personable, like able, non-violent but delivering swift justice with his mind rather than through physical means. This is not to say that violence is a stranger to our hero. Some of it staggering and often delivered by what we would think of normal persons living in British society. You will come to love the world of Steeple Chase racing, you will grow a fondness for horses, stables, trainers and the people who live in that world.

You will read the books, devouring one after the other and trust me Dick Francis has a lot of novels over 40 by my last count. There are several series woven into the fabric of Francis's work: notably the Sid Halley and Kit Fielding series. Assessment: Dick Francis is one of my favorite writers.

I read his books with a fierce hunger that remains insatiable and I mourn his death.


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View 1 comment. Mar 04, Nolan rated it really liked it. Lee makes a living by prowling around Britain scouting out old ruined buildings and businesses he can remodel, restore, and revitalize.


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Lee shares his house with his wife, Amanda, and six boys. As this book opens, Lee has just finished restoration of an old barn, turning it into the house he, Amanda, and the boys now share. And Lee indeed has some visitors as this book begins. Too officials from a nearby racetrack come to beg for his help. But why would the visitors come to Lee Morris? Because many years ago, before Lee was born, his mother was married briefly to one of the hyper-abusive sons of the wealthy racetrack owner. She left the home, but the family quickly closed ranks around the son, and she agreed to never mention the abuse and marital rape as long as she could simply be left alone.

Instead, she kept the shares, and they eventually reverted to her son, Lee, upon her death. Lee initially declines their offer, but a series of events cause him to change his mind and actually show up at a board of directors meeting wherein all of the family factions with their naked hatred for one another are in full bloom. While there, they witness a horrible racing accident that kills a rider and horse. He quickly alerts his father, and the boy and his father must now rescue the other boys who are playing in the grandstands. All but one boy leaves the area, and while Lee searches for his 9-year-old son, the stands explode in a horrific manner.

Lee and the boy are reunited just seconds before the grandstands blow, and while the boy is spared, Lee sustains injuries on his back and legs as some of the structure falls in on him. Lee is in constant danger from family members who want him dead, including his half sister, the girl born as a result of the forced sexual assault and the man once briefly married to his mother. Dick Francis does a magnificent job as usual with this plot.

Their differences and strengths and weaknesses are used by this author to move the plot along nicely. The Stratton family, who are so hateful to one another and so divided as to the future of the racetrack, are also masterfully developed. The plot is consistently fast and constantly interesting.

This is a rather short book, but long on character development and excitement. So detailed are their descriptions that you feel as if you know each one of them individually. I probably would have given this one five stars but was so disappointed in the ending! Lee Morris is an architect with six sons all young. It is obvious from his story that he is very proud of them and loves each one but sadly, his marriage is struggling.

However he is committed to his family, and is about to prove his commitment when his family is introduced to danger at the racetrack. Lee is through marraige distantly related to a family of shareholders and because of a tragic past, has nev I probably would have given this one five stars but was so disappointed in the ending! Lee is through marraige distantly related to a family of shareholders and because of a tragic past, has never attended the meetings. However, learning that the racetrack is faced with either a permanent closing, or pointless renovations Lee's field , he decides to attend a meeting.

The hostility of the family is perhaps a little overdone but has the reader pulling for Lee all the way. When one of Lee's boys discovers a trail of hidden wire at the racetrack, the danger begins and as always, the hero of the novel will have to prove his mettle. Another fast-paced Dick Francis mystery that kept my interest all the way.

Sep 18, David Highton rated it really liked it. Not a typical Dick Francis story, even though it is based around a family owned racecourse. Lee Morris is a builder with six sons who has inherited a small share in the racecourse who gets embroiled in conspiracy and no little danger. But his recipe for a book is to also mix in one or two other topics, like glass blowing or computer viruses or movie making. The architect is our protagonist, and unlike many Francis books, you get more of a surface view of the life of the architect without getting much detail in his work.

The detail that was there regarding explosives and design was not that compelling, and I missed that depth here. The book seemed to be much more about relationships, and the second topic was managing families. Lee, our architect, manages this entire episode with his brood of sons with him. And the work Lee does in the story is related to a dysfunctional and rich family of racecourse owners.

Francis has a way with navigating family politics and dealing with family trauma that he only touches on occasionally in his books. I think his writing about families give him the ability to bring some interesting characters to life, such as the grandson here trying to cure his baldness. Francis also, as he likes to do, includes a beating scene here. They are always very cringe-inducing.

Overall, one of the better ones. I love this one. It's the first mystery he's ever written where the hero had kids, so he gave him seven. All boys. On the other hand, he went back to the unhappy marriage theme letting the wife have an affair and the hero long to have one. Can't have everything. A great example of the history factor where it is only by learning what characters have done that the hero can blackmail his way to safety.

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Also a fine example of psychological detection, since the hero must consider the various members I love this one. Also a fine example of psychological detection, since the hero must consider the various members of a large family to figure out who is the criminal. Compounding the difficulty of figuring it out, there are multiple crimes and criminals.

More stock Francis: the older iron-willed woman, wealthy, capable of graciousness that the hero comes to like and admire the Queen Mother I can't help but wonder? He deals with topical issues again, namely domestic and sexual violence, and I love the architecture stuff. Best of all, the hero lives in a barn with his brood. This novel stands out because Lee is one of the few Francis characters to have children. That said Lee and his children are extremely well drawn. One wonders if Francis This novel stands out because Lee is one of the few Francis characters to have children.

One wonders if Francis was making some comment on marriage, divorce and children. Or perhaps this is an experiment of a protagonist with children, just in case Francis had decided to take Kit or Sid there. Apr 20, Bardbooks rated it really liked it Shelves: fiction , thriller. This may be my favorite Dick Francis novel, with an atypical hero whose quiet architectural brilliance and unusually creative parenting of five boys sticks in my mind. This is my second read of Decider and I liked it even more this time, admiring the elegant turns of phrase, realism, and depth of character Francis creates.

The integration of plot, character, and setting is OH so satisfying. Aug 24, Jamilah rated it really liked it. I love Dick Francis' characters. They are very philosophical and good-natured, able to survive the most horrible calamities with a sense of humor. The hero of this book is in a rather depressing marriage, but as usual is a very likable guy.

Fast-paced and tense, as most of his books are. Feb 20, Lori rated it really liked it Shelves: just-for-fun , british , mystery-suspense , audio , I've read Dick Francis before but enjoyed this one so much I will be picking up more from him in the near future. I actually found myself disappointed at remembering that I had finished this book when I would find a moment to hit "play. I don't know if any of his others are written as a "series" but this one is stand alone. It features and architect who spe I've read Dick Francis before but enjoyed this one so much I will be picking up more from him in the near future.

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It features and architect who specializes in refurbishing old relics and creating new and exciting dwellings - anything from old pubs to barns. He has SIX boys so this story had 2 aspects of the story that had me interested from the beginning: architecture and multiple children. This mystery isn't gruesome in any way and while there were some truly despicable characters, nothing from this that I had to mute if a child walked in.

Very enjoyable. The dysfunctional Stratton family are owners of the Stratton Park racecourse. The racecourse is old and in need of repair but the family is divided on what to do: modernize, leave as-is, or sell. Lee Morris, related through the elder Lord Stratton, owns seven shares and decides to attend one of the shareholder meetings.

Lee takes an interest in the proceedings.

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As an architect, he understands The dysfunctional Stratton family are owners of the Stratton Park racecourse. As an architect, he understands the drawings being considered. But knowledge can be a very dangerous thing, especially when your life and the lives of your children are at risk. One of the better ones, in my opinion. How Dick Francis comes up with fresh ideas is a wonder. But it is all believable and fast paced.

Lee Morris is a hands-on builder as well as an architect. He and his wife Amanda married at the age of nineteen and still relatively young, are now the parents of six boys. It was an abusive marriage and when Lee's mother left, abandoning her daughter Hannah, her father-in-law gave her eight shares in the racecourse which Lee inherited on his mother's death.

Lee is not related to Lee Morris is a hands-on builder as well as an architect. Lee is not related to the Strattons and has had no dealings with them. But on Lord Stratton's death, a meeting of shareholders is called and he decides to attend. The family resent, even hate him, and they are a squabbling, blackmailing bunch among themselves, all with different intentions as to the future of the racecourse.

Lee is drawn in and takes his five older boys to the races. The plot includes a tragic accident, an explosion, fires, attempted shootings, typical action from Dick Francis. I really enjoyed the antics of the young boys. Lee Morris, the father of 6 sons is estranged from his wife even though they are still living together.

He is owner of a few of stock in a racecourse. He finally goes to a meeting and meets the Stratton family in person. His mother had been married to one of the Strattons but he was not Lee's father. Her second husband was. Lee takes his sons on a outing to the racecourse in their "bus" and they have a great time until they run into the worst of the Strattons, Keith who was his mother's first hu Lee Morris, the father of 6 sons is estranged from his wife even though they are still living together.

Lee takes his sons on a outing to the racecourse in their "bus" and they have a great time until they run into the worst of the Strattons, Keith who was his mother's first husband. Things go downhill rapidly and plenty of trouble ensues. Lee's relationship with his sons is admirable and makes you admire him. This story is a little prolonged and ends up rather predictably. But Dick Francis books are always enjoyable. This is my favorite of the Dick Francis novels. I fell in love Lee Norris.

He is someone I would like to know in real life. The story is intense and low key at the same time. When the protagonist in Dick Francis novel is hurt and they usually are , they hurt but keep going. Part of the appeal to his novels is this approach to life. Even though he started off writing about jockeys, Dick Francis continued on to write about so many other fields, like in this on where Lee Morris is an architect who This is my favorite of the Dick Francis novels.

Even though he started off writing about jockeys, Dick Francis continued on to write about so many other fields, like in this on where Lee Morris is an architect who inherits some shares in a privately owned racetrack. With sabotage, bombs, and guns, there are some memorable scenes. Jan 23, Gerald Curtis rated it it was amazing. I enjoyed it far more than my first, which I liked very much. What an incredible depth this author achieves, yet in such incremental steps that the accumulated complexity never overwhelms the reader.

And what a wide range of perfectly believable characters he creates.

Fiction Book Review: Decider by Dick Francis, Author Putnam $ (0p) ISBN

While it started slowly, the last half was one of those "you can't put it down" stories. I stand in awe. May 09, Darcy rated it really liked it. I adore the strong male characters in Dick Francis mysteries. The protagonist in this one could take a beating without complaint, out-manipulate bad guys full of uncontrollable rage, design beautiful homes from ruined historical buildings as both builder and architect, provide excellent parenting skills to his five sons, all while restoring a family-owned racetrack to great reknown.

I want to marry a Francis-protagonist. What a renaissance man! Jun 19, Fredrick Danysh rated it it was amazing. Lee Morris is a beginning architect and engineer who gets in the middle of a feud over a racecourse between members of a family that he is connected to. He believes that choice is preordained. When murder occurs he comes in danger himself and must make critical choices. Shattered by Francis, Dick.

Condition is Good. Sid Halley 1 of 4. Trial Run Driving Force edge wear. Field of 13 Breaking up lot, etc. MOST of these books are in generally good condition. Title: Hot Money Item Condition: used item in a very good condition. Knockdown by Dick Francis. First U. Edition, First Printing. Only 2 Have Their Dust Jackets. Title: Dead Heat Item Condition: used item in a very good condition. Will be clean, not soiled or stained. Books will be free of page markings. The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact including the dust cover, if applicable.

Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May NOT include discs, access code or other supplemental materials. See similar items. Bonecrack - Has been read but clean tight excellent condition. Long Shot - Humidity marks on top of pages - otherwise perfect-unread. Field Of Thirteen by Dick Francis. Hardcover with a Dust Jacket. A crafted collection of short stories. Title: Straight Item Condition: used item in a very good condition.

Condition is Acceptable. Title: Knock Down Item Condition: used item in a very good condition.

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Edition: - List Price: -. Results Pagination - Page 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Hot This Week. Sponsored Listings. Got one to sell? Make an Offer. Smokescreen by Dick Francis. Make Offer - Smokescreen by Dick Francis. Make Offer - 10 LB. Shop by Category. Format see all. Special Attributes see all. Dust Jacket. Large Print. Vintage Paperback. Topic see all. Genre see all. Author see all. Dick Francis Filter Applied. Publication Year see all.