DEAD WEIGHT by John Francome


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A fast-paced tale of the racing world, from renowned jockey and popular U.K. commentator Francome (Inside Track, 2004, etc.).

Phil Nicholas is a champion jump jockey. After sustaining an injury, Francome is having a hard time getting back in the saddle. His wife, Julia, who’s been around horses all her life, has thus far been happy with Phil, but now she’s convinced that he’s having an affair with a beautiful woman named Simone. Of course, our hero would not be doing anything so dastardly; Simone is his psychologist, trying to help him deal with his fears and get back into mental shape. Enter Keith, an inveterate gambler who can’t get over the fact that he keeps losing money on the races. Deciding that the whole system is rigged, Keith writes a letter to the racing paper at which Phil is employed as a columnist and threatens action unless the cheating stops. Not long after, a jockey who lost a race and cost Keith quite a bit of coin ends up with a crossbow bolt in his leg. The letters continue, the police get involved, more jockeys get hurt, and you know it won’t be long before psychotic Keith gets around to Julia.

By-the-numbers thriller with plenty of racing drama thrown in. Should do well with anyone looking for a Dick Francis substitute.

Pub Date: Oct. 11th, 2005
ISBN: 0-312-32981-4
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2005