On the first day of Royal Ascot, the world's most famous horseracing meet, the crowd rejoices in a string of winning favorites. Ned Talbot has worked all his life as a bookmaker–taking over the family business from his grandfather–so he knows not to expect any sympathy from the punters as they count their winnings, and he his losses. He's seen the ups and downs before, but as the big gambling conglomerates muscle in on small concerns like his, Ned wonders if it's worth it anymore.
When a gray-haired man steps forward from the crowd claiming to be his father, Ned's life is thrown into far deeper turmoil. He'd been told that both his parents had died in a car crash when he was a baby. Barely an hour later, his newly found father is fatally stabbed by an unknown assailant in the Ascot parking lot. Blood oozing from his abdomen, his father warns Ned to "be very careful." But of whom? Of what? Ned finds himself in a race to solve his father's riddles, a race where coming second could cost him more than even money: it could cost him his life.
From the Compact Disc edition.
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by Dick Francis, Felix Francis
by Felix Francis
by Dick Francis
"Martin Jarvis does his usual sterling work with the latest Dick and Felix Francis racing mystery. Bookies may be universally despised in the racing world, but Ned Talbot is a good guy. His life centers on running a small book-making business and helping his wife recover from mental illness. His life is turned upside down when a man approaches him at Royal Ascot to tell him he is his father, but the stranger is stabbed to death before Ned can ask any questions. Jarvis is exceptional at creating multiple distinctive characters--the "delinquent" techie Dougie is a particular joy. Jarvis renders humor and love authentically. Australians aren't quite his strength, but, really, who cares, when he's so good at emotion, tension, timing, and character? A.B. (c) AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine"
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