Sunday, July 21, 2019

Jockey Kit Fielding Finds Trouble in This Novel from Dick Francis

Those who have read several of Dick Francis's mysteries will know exactly what to expect from Break In. Malevolent forces are at work and a jockey, in this case Kit Fielding, gets caught up in the machinations. The Fielding family has been feuding with the Allardeck family for generations, and Kit's sister, Holly, has complicated matters by marrying into the Allardeck family, on the order of Romeo and Juliet.

As the book opens, someone has been planting viscous rumors in the press about Holly's husband, Bobby. Bobby is a horse trainer and the rumors say that he is broke and unable to pay his debts. His creditors and the people who own the horses he trains are pressing him, and it appears that Bobby will have to declare bankruptcy and lose everything.

As an Allardeck, he's reluctant to accept help from a Fielding, but Kit is the only one who appears capable of getting his sister and brother-in-law out of this crisis. Kit is forged in the same mold as virtually every other Dick Francis protagonist; he's very smart, extremely clever, and tough as nails. He has the sort of resilience that one expects from a Francis protagonist and like most of the others, he seems impervious to pain. In and around his efforts to save his sister and brother-in-law, Kit will ride a lot of races, and he will meet a beautiful woman that he will court in the style of a Dick Francis hero.

Again, there are no surprises here for anyone who has read a lot of these novels, but that's fine. It's sometimes comforting to fall down and just relax with a good book, even if you know with certainty where it's going to take you.

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