Friday, November 10, 2017

A Jockey Is Stunned by the Verdict of a Racing Commission in this Novel from Dick Francis

When jockey Kelly Hughes and the trainer he rides for, Dexter Cranfield, are called before a commision of enquiry following a race that Hughes rode on one of Cranfield's horses, the two men assume that it's a minor matter of no concern. They both know that they did nothing wrong and so assume that they will simply have to answer a few questions about the race and be on their way.

Understandably, then, the two men are shocked when the commissioners exhibit evidence against them that Hughes and Cranfield claim has been clearly fabricated, indicating that the two men were guilty of serious offenses during the race in question. Although they protest their innocence, both are banned from racing in the future.

Their livelihoods and their reputations are at stake, and Cranfield withdraws into himself, assuming that nothing can be done about this situation. Hughes is a fighter, though, and is determined to discover who manufactured the evidence against him and Cranfield, and why. Hughes's mission brings him up against some particularly vicious people, and before long, his safety and his very life are at grave risk.

This is a fairly entertaining novel and a pleasant way to while away a flight from Phoenix to Chicago, or probably anywhere else for that matter. Hughes is a very typical Dick Francis protagonist, and the story is much like most of Francis's other novels. There will be no real surprises here for people who have read others of his books, and for those who haven't, this is as good a place to start as any.

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