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Dick Francis's Gamble

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3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  2,188 Ratings  ·  311 Reviews
At the Grand National races, Nicholas "Foxy" Foxton sees friend and coworker Herb murdered in front of him and 60K witnesses. both were financial advisers at Lyall & Black, an extreme-risk investment firm. Foxy questions the case of mistaken identity, from how well he knew his friend to how much he understands about his employer - everything.
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published July 26th 2011 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jeffrey
Aug 09, 2011 Jeffrey rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, read-in-2011
As many of his fans know, Dick Francis passed away in February 2010. He was a force in mystery novels all set in some way in the English horse riding community publishing one novel a year until his wife's death in 2000. She helped him research his novels. In his obituary, the New York Times reported that Dick Francis thought he would never write another book again, but in 2006 he came out with a new Sid Halley novel, in which his son Felix Francis helped with the research. Thereafter Dick and Fe ...more
Goesta
Feb 15, 2013 Goesta rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Vintage Francis fans - this one belongs!
Shelves: mystery
Read a while ago.

What I long to return to, time and again, that "Dick Francis fix", is above all, apart from the horses, the profound integrity of the reluctant hero; reading these books, I feel somehow clean, and encouraged to strive for such clarity within myself. This is something else than the author taking the moral high ground, I can't quite put my finger on it right now. In any case, Felix Francis does not disappoint.

Felix Francis hits his stride as a solo author while expertly channelin
...more
Teotakuu
I discovered the Dick Francis novels sometime in the 1960's and gave them as Fathers Day and Christmas presents to my grandfather and stepfather while collecting them for myself.

When I lost all my books in a house fire the Dick Francis thrillers were amongst the first books that I hunted down to refill my bookshelves. They are the old friends that I turn to when unwell or lonely so I am delighted that Felix Francis is continuing the work of his father and mother.

I bought this book at Borders, Ri
...more
Mark
Jan 25, 2017 Mark rated it liked it
Dick Francis special...retired jockey, now stockbroker, becomes involved in a colleague's murder investigation tied to a massive European Union fraud...Felix is getting better and better, with each outing, developing his character...better!!!
Beth
Sep 13, 2011 Beth rated it really liked it


Felix Francis has now picked up the writing mantle of his father and his mother. Apparently, as his mother assisted his father in writing the novels, Felix assisted his father after his mother’s death. GAMBLE is the first book that bears only Felix’s name.

I am pretty certain that I have read all the mysteries that Dick Francis and family have written. The books have likable heroes who have a connection to horse racing in some capacity or another. That gives the authors the opportunity to create
...more
Dlora
May 11, 2013 Dlora rated it liked it
Felix is still not as good a writer as his father, although his plot and action scenes are well done. It’s his development of admirable characters and relationships that I find lacking. He is getting better at it, but he hasn’t got the heart of his father. There are very few characters I like in the book.

I did like how the title of the book was woven into the story. Nicholas Foxton gambled with his life as a jump jockey every day, but when he had a bad fall and broke the vertebrae of his neck, t
...more
Dindy
Dec 15, 2012 Dindy rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I miss Dick Francis. I have been a fan of his for a long time. Yes, he essentially writes the same hero over and over again, although he usually gives the guy a different name and occupation in each book. Yes, his mysteries have a sameness to them-- at some point in the book, the hero is going to be unjustly accused of something. Either the hero or his love interest is going to have some kind of infirmity or disability. The hero will come from a flawed family and in some way, shape or form, the ...more
Jane Debano
Oct 13, 2011 Jane Debano rated it it was amazing
Dick Francis, former steeplechase jockey turned thriller writer, has always been one of my favorite reads. I started devouring his books in the ‘60s and have read everyone since then (43 in all) and own most of them. They are like old friends, whom I visit from time to time. I was stricken by his death in 2010 but glad to know that his son Felix, who had collaborated with him on his last four books, was taking up the reins (or PC) to continue his father’s legacy. You know a Francis hero will be ...more
An Odd1
Feb 04, 2012 An Odd1 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Murder mystery mixes with boring lessons, such as well-known (unsolved) public assassinations. When ex-jockey Foxy yearns, despite broken neck, to be back in the saddle for hundreds of pages, fair bet he'll get there before the end. I probably read this before, because twists were not surprises.

Financial advisor Nicholas Foxton stands next to colleague from U.S. for 5 years, extravagant well-liked non-gambler Herb Kovak, at Grand National Race, when assassin suddenly shoots Kovak dead. Nick, he
...more
Jerry
Aug 22, 2011 Jerry rated it really liked it
We had a hunch that the first solo effort by son Felix to write a “Dick Francis” novel would turn out OK, given that undoubtedly he bore the lion’s share of the work on the last several official collaborations with his dad. And like the whole world, we could hardly wait to see if “Gamble” would hold up to the unusual scrutiny so often applied to the next book in a series not written by the original author. To us, it’s a very commendable job!

A retired jockey, Nick Foxton, now a financial advisor
...more
Durdles
Oct 25, 2013 Durdles rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers
Listened to the audio book version which had me hooked for a week while running and driving. I hadn't read any Dick Francis for years and was always a little sceptical of likelihood of former jockeys turning detective. When an injured former jockey and financial adviser Nick Foxton's work colleague is shot dead next to him at The Grand National race meeting, a series of events follow that ensure that Nick becomes the next target of the assassin. While sometimes straying into absurdity and contai ...more
Sue
Aug 06, 2011 Sue rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All Dick Francis fans
Shelves: mystery, horses, read-2011
This is a wonderful read. I am ecstatic that this is so good - the pacing, the protagonist's inner reflection, the plot twists - all were vintage Dick Francis. Some of the choppiness in the co-authored books has smoothed out a lot.

Some criticisms: Too much foreshadowing. We know that calm and serene isn't going to last long. :) And it seems that Felix was a little heavy-handed with the current news events sprinkled in (to make sure we knew the book was written recently and not 5 years ago? I gue
...more
Ellen
Aug 17, 2011 Ellen rated it liked it
This is definitely in the mold of a typical Dick Francis book, but something isn't quite right for me. Felix Francis has the plot structure right and even the conversations are similar to those his father wrote. Maybe there is one thing that I can identify. Like the protagonists in Dick's books, Felix's protagonist here is uncharacteristically daring and smarter than the police. However, it seems that he's MUCH smarter than the police. Some things are over-the-top unrealistic for me. The police ...more
False Millennium
Nov 03, 2011 False Millennium rated it it was ok
It's the same problem with any author who has been prolific, then dies. The gravy train stops here. Some family member tries to carry on, and it's never the same. I dread Robert Parker's family doing this (and indications are they will be.) Let the good writing stand as a tribute to the author. You want a "for example?" The repeated use of a word in a paragraph: "deception"--five times, "intercept"--six times. Again amd again. I know Dickens preached repetition to strengthen a thought, but this ...more
Rachel Amphlett
Sep 28, 2013 Rachel Amphlett rated it liked it
I'd been waiting a long time to read Gamble, Felix Francis's first outing as a solo author, and I'm glad I finally got the chance recently.

It's no mean feat to step out from under the shadow of another successful author, let alone when that author was your father, but Felix has ensured with Gamble (and his other books) that he owns the genre in his own right.

Maintaining the trademark elements of horseracing and skulduggery, Felix adds his own twist and thoroughly modernises this style of thrille
...more
Steve
Sep 14, 2013 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horse-crime
I quite enjoyed this book, the characters in it, the story that develops, but it was missing that something, the 'spark' that turns a good book into a great book. It was well-written, moved along at a good pace, contained enough plot twists to keep me guessing, and the chapters were a nice length. Without giving anything away, the ending felt like a cop-out, and would have preferred one that actually resulted in closure.
Francesca
Oct 05, 2013 Francesca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very nice book. I enjoyed the plot and the characters. Page-turner book, I definitely wanted to know what was happening.
Hapzydeco
Feb 15, 2015 Hapzydeco rated it really liked it
Storyline, characters and subplots make for an entertaining read.
Tom Mccutchan
Feb 10, 2017 Tom Mccutchan rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-sale
I think this is the first "Dick Francis" book I've read that was written just by Felix (after Dick Francis' death). I thought it was just as good as some of Dick's work.
Suzanne Davey
Jan 10, 2017 Suzanne Davey rated it really liked it
Loved it from start to finished. Dare I say better than the dick Francis novels if they could getter any better!
Jovanie
Nov 13, 2013 Jovanie rated it really liked it
Felix Francis has out done himself. Dick Francis's GAMBLE includes sense of humor, intense mystery and bad and good outcomes. A former jockey, "one of the young- ever winners of the Grand National, Nicholas "Foxy" Foxton finds himself next to a fellow colleague, Herb Kovak when shot with a gun and silencer while in a crowd. People are too stunned to have noticed anything unusual until a bullet is released. (Even Nick, noted a black gun but not as quickly as the bullet had been released).

Nick is
...more
Kathy Martin
Jul 29, 2011 Kathy Martin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Francis formula lives on! A bright and competent man falls into a situation that is dangerous and unfamiliar to him and triumphs. Nicholas Foxton was standing next to a work colleague at the races when the colleague is murdered by an unknown assailant. Both men are Independent Financial Advisors for the same firm - Lyall and Black. Nicholas was a former race jockey who had to find a new career after he broke his neck in a riding accident and lost his jockey license at age 21. He still very m ...more
LJ
First Sentence: I was standing right next to Herb Kovak when he was murdered.

For Nicholas Foxton risk is part of his life. His career as a jockey ended with an injury that could still cost him his life; his profession as an independent financial advisor has him specializing in extreme-risk investments. His friend, Herb Kovak, current jockey and co-worker is murdered standing right next to him. Was his death due to something in Herb’s life, his work or could it have been that the killer had the w
...more
Carla
Feb 06, 2013 Carla rated it really liked it
I have always enjoyed the books of Dick Francis. Even though I don't know anything about horseracing and have never even come close to a race, the books make me feel at home and are written in a certain cosy atmosphere. The great strength of the books is that Dick and Felix are able to create this atmosphere with new characters all the time. I think Felix does a great job continuing his father's work.

Gamble is a good read once again; it is well written and has the atmosphere I tried to describe
...more
caty
Jan 11, 2012 caty rated it liked it
It's taken me a while to figure out what is different about Felix's books from his father's. I mean, the story is still strong - of course, it's Dick's stories. But the books are so much longer. This summer I read a classic late 70s Dick Francis right before reading Gamble, one of Felix's compositions, and I figured it out.

It's all in the editing. Dick's books didn't have superfluous paragraphs and repetitious passages, and oh boy does Felix have these issues!

It was a whole page of the protagoni
...more
Gregory Drake
Wow!!!! What an absolutely tremendous story of intrique and wonder and life analysis and even romance thrown in to boot!!!! I'd been reading it over a week's period or more, then yesterday morning I just could not put it down, and finished the last almost 100 pages in one sitting. The story pulled me in, so much was it like parts of my own life at times, with the main character satisfied in his line of work, yet missing something.... Everyone keeps telling him that he really is boring and not fu ...more
Shonna Froebel
Nov 27, 2012 Shonna Froebel rated it really liked it
Following in the footsteps of his father, Dick Francis, this is Felix Francis' first solo Dick Francis novel. He assisted his father on many of his recent books, and this novel feels and reads in the same style. Here we have Nick 'Foxy' Foxton ex-jockey, sidelined due to an injury, who is now an independent financial advisor. Because of his past, he has a lot of clients in the horse-racing world, and goes often to races. As the book begins, Nick is at the Grand National with a work colleague and ...more
Janis
Sep 12, 2011 Janis rated it it was amazing
Either I was not in the mood to read when starting this book or it was a slow start. However, it did not stay slow. The pace picked up just like the horses on the track where some of the story took place. It began as two friends and co-workers were enjoying a day at the races. Then, in a blinding flash, in front of tens of thousands of witnesses, one of the men is shot dead at point blank range. The other is rightfully shocked and focuses more on his dead friend than on the shooter. Over the cou ...more
Thomas Bruso
Dec 22, 2014 Thomas Bruso rated it it was amazing
“Gamble,” Felix Francis’s fifth collaboration with his father Dick Francis, is an engaging outing for horse-racing and crime mystery aficionados.

Former ex-jockey and Grand National winner-turned financial adviser Nicholas “Foxy” Foxton, 29, witnesses his close colleague, Herb Kovak, shot at point-blank range during a customary visit to the Grand National races.

While trying to help the local constables uncover why anyone would want to kill a kind man like Herb, Nick discovers a handwritten note i
...more
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Dick Francis Read...: Review of Gamble 10 30 Aug 28, 2012 03:26PM  
  • Crossfire
535902
For over forty years, the London University grad helped father Dick Francis (31 Oct 1920 – 14 Feb 2010), ex-jockey known for horse-racing mysteries. In 2007, after 17 years teaching physics, he took on the job full-time. Experience also as international marksman aided research for Shattered, Under Orders, and Twice Shy. Co-author of NY Times bestsellers Dead Heat, Silks, Even Money and Crossfire. ...more
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