Tuesday, March 13, 2018

A British Racing Investigator Tackles a Complex Case in Norway

When a British jockey named Richard Sherman disappears from a racecourse in Norway, he leaves behind a pregnant wife and a huge mystery. At the same time Sherman went missing, so did sixteen thousand kroner--the day's take at the racecourse where Sherman had been riding that afternoon. Sherman was last seen near the room where the money was inexplicably left unguarded, and the assumption is that he has run off with it.

But how? 

Norwegian investigators have drawn a blank; neither Sherman nor the money have surfaced and there's no record of him leaving the country. Accordingly, the racetrack officials call in David Cleveland, an investigator from the Jockey Club in England. Cleveland pairs up with a Norwegian investigator named Arne Kristiansen, who tells David that he hopes the Englishman can pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat.

Almost as soon as Cleveland arrives in Norway, however, it becomes very clear that someone doesn't want him poking around, and the deeper he digs, the more dangerous things become. But Cleveland is a typical Dick Francis protagonist, and he's not about to back down, irrespective of the possible consequences.

This is a fairly typical novel from Dick Francis. There's lots of intrigue, danger and action. In this case there's not much romance, although at one point our intrepid hero causes a woman to have an orgasm just by dancing with her! With that kind of talent, it's hard to imagine that even the most diabolical criminals will escape his reach for long. 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4.

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