Dick Francis’s Gamble by Felix Francis
Nick Foxton is a financial advisor for a firm specializing in high risk, high return ventures like East End plays and startup companies. That’s all the risk he can really have in his life after breaking his neck (really, he broke it) in a horrible fall during his past life as a jockey. Many of his clients are former competitors so he’s still around the horse racing world quite often. The book begins with Nick and a co-worker, Herb Kovak, attending Grand National. Before the race begins a man steps from the crowd, draws a gun and shoots Herb in the head. Who would want Herb dead? Was his personal or work life the motivation? Nick starts poking around in Herb’s affairs, being executor of his estate (a shock to Nick since the race was their first social event together). Nick discovers interesting things about Herb’s personal and work lives and something he’s uncovered is prompting the gunman to now come after Nick.
I really thought I was reading a Dick Francis novel. His son has taken up the reigns and run with them quite winningly. The fast paced plot, first person narration and horse racing being tied into, but not the entirety of the plot, are all hallmarks of “classic Francis,” a term that will now apply aptly to both father and son.