Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Under Orders” as Want to Read:
Under Orders
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Under Orders (Sid Halley #4)

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  3,322 ratings  ·  223 reviews
It's the third death that really troubles former champion jump-jockey Sid Halley. He knows the perils of racing all too well - but in his day, jockeys didn't usually reach the finishing line. But this is precisely how he finds Huw Walker - the new winner of the Triumph Hurdle and Halley's friend.
Published September 26th 2006 by Penguin Audio UK (first published September 6th 2005)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Under Orders, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Under Orders

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
A gentle meeting with an old friend. I adore Sid Halley.

Unfortunately, I think one can tell this was written after the death of his wife. So sad.
Dec 27, 2012 Carol rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any horse &/or mystery lover
Shelves: dead-tree, mystery
It's been awhile since I've read a Dick Francis novel and Under Orders included everything that I've always loved about his writing. Sid Halley is a great "hero" though not in the usual sense of the term. Solid, smart and with a fair amount of "guts", he works methodically through his cases. The fact that he's a former jockey - former because of a life changing injury - brings an insight to the world of horse racing that other detectives wouldn't have. Of course, this insight is brought about by ...more
Book Concierge
Audio book read by Martin Jarvis

Opening lines: Sadly, death at the races is not uncommon. However, three in a single afternoon was sufficiently unusual to raise more than an eyebrow. That only one of the deaths was of a horse was more than enough to bring the local constabulary hotfoot to the track.

Sid Halley is a former steeplechase jockey turned detective (following an accident which cost him his left hand.) He and his former father-in-law are at the track as guests of Lord Enstone but t
I learned a few weeks ago that Dick Francis had written a fourth Sid Halley novel in 2006. I rushed to the library and found a nice large print version. I am sorry to say that it was not up to the standard set by the earlier three, perhaps because Francis appears to have been writing it either during or just after his wife's last illness. The plot and climax were a bit far-fetched; the new character (Halley's in love!) was engaging, but what turned me off a bit was two kinds of superfluous verbi ...more
Ana Rebelo
O livro mostra a história de Sid Halley, um famoso jockey que abandonou as corridas de cavalos quando se viu incapacitado da mão esquerda, que depois lhe foi amputada devido a um ataque por alguém que quis desencorajar as suas investigações. Sid investiga casos relacionados com as corridas de cavalo, mundo que conhece como ninguém, e é neste contexto que surge este livro.
Três assassinatos ocorrem em apenas um dia e o principal suspeito comete um suposto suicídio passados uns dias. Tudo parece re
What is there to say about Dick Francis? As I think about all of his books (yes, this review covers all of his books, and yes I've read them all) I think about a moral ethical hero, steeped in intelligence and goodness embroiled in evil machinations within British horse racing society - either directly or indirectly. The heroes aren't always horse jockies, they can be film producers, or involve heroes engaged in peripheral professions that somehow always touch the horse racing world.

But more tha
Dick Francis is my most read author for a reason. His main characters are people I like, root for and whose humor I enjoy. They are not devoid of darkness but typically accept this and try to deal with it. This is a chief aspect of literature as I like it, the journey to know and accept oneself as one tries to take the high road. Such is the case here as one of his few returning characters, Sid Halley, continues his life through challenges of divorce and disability. There is an English reserve a ...more
If you don't figure out who the murderer is early on, you've missed a big "tell." There was nothing subtle about this plot, and I really didn't care about Sid's sex life. I listened to this on audiobook, and fast forwarded several times - it just wanted to get on with the story, more to confirm that I knew who the murderer was than anything else. Francis also got bogged down in explaining molecular biology lab techniques, and he wasn't always completely accurate in his descriptions, so that was ...more
Wayne Anthony
Was so crap and boring! What sad bastard wants to read but crime over a fucking horse race! Dick Francis NEVER AGAIN!
Finding a Dick Francis book that I had not read was like finding a precious jewel. This is especially true of a Sid Halley adventure. I was afraid that at some point I would realize, "Oh wait! I read this one." Nope, somehow I missed it. This is not great literature, it is a relaxing visit with an old friend. Once again Sid is in the position of the bad guy trying to intimidate him and his standing up. He marries.... I have read the one where he is already married and has a child, this connects ...more
What can I say? I like Sid Halley otherwise this would have been 3 stars
Kathy Davie
Nice to catch up with Sid Halley of my favorites.
now with more sexual equality and less sadism
This was a fun book about horse racing and gambling in England. (And my first Dick Francis novel.) It was well-written and a fun read. I found most interesting the discussion of the way a horse owner or trainer can use online gambling sites to bet for and against the same horse in the same race, but with different odds (by placing bets at different times), thus hedging his bets and ensuring that he wins more often than he loses. Of course, this is entirely illegal.

I enjoyed the book on tape, an
Kara Jorges
Sid Halley is back. The one-handed ex-jockey-turned-investigator is at Cheltenham Races on Gold Cup day when three deaths occur: one horse and two jockeys, one of whom is found murdered in the parking lot. Huw Walker’s death merely fuels the rumors he was involved in race fixing, and it looks like his boss, trainer Bill Burton, may have done it. When Bill is found dead in his home, the police want to rule his death a suicide, brought about by guilt over having murdered his jockey, but Sid believ ...more
We don't recall that many of Francis' books feature a recurring leading man; but this one is the fourth in the ex-champion jockey, now private eye, Sid Halley series, scattered over many years of the author’s booklist. It was Dick’s first outing since the death of his wife Mary, who had been heavily involved in the research, editing, and perhaps even writing, of many/most of his books. Lately son Felix has been an official co-author (and perhaps/likely earlier unofficially); we wonder if Felix m ...more

There was a time when I would buy the latest Dick Francis hardback every time I visited England in September. But that was in another life and I only recently caught up with this, Francis’ purported last solo effort. It was delightful to meet Sid Halley once again. He was the protagonist of the very first Dick Francis mystery that I read. I had read the dust cover on a copy I found in my local library and became hooked.

There was a certain and comfortable rhythm to most of the Francis’ mysteries,
For years i have read and loved novels by both horse racing legends Dick Francis & John Francome and i just had to choose at least one of thier novels to review because they are so utterly brilliant, and i have had many years of pleasure reading through many different titles. Under Orders is written by champion storyteller Dick Francis who is not only a racing legend but a pure genious when it comes to putting thoughts on to paper, and this little book was by far a firm favourite of mine tha ...more
Lisa H.
For pretty much as long as I can remember, Dick Francis books have been around, in every new and used bookstore or library - the unmistakeable design of the US hardcover editions features brightly colored covers, with a stylized horse or horses on the front, because every book includes horses: set in the world of horse racing, or horse breeding, or someone has a valuable horse that is in danger; in short, horses abound. And that's OK, because Mr. Francis started his career as a jump jockey, and ...more
I didn't really enjoy this book very much. I am an avid Dick Francis fan and have been for decades, and I regularly re-read his books. I adored all the earlier Sid Halley books, and thought that the finish in Come to Grief was the perfect ending for him. This book feels to me as though it were written by someone who had been told about the earlier books but had never read them.
Charles Rowland (spelled Roland in earlier books) has had such a drastic personality change I was wondering whether he
I think this is Francis's first book after his wife died. This is significant because some have suggested that his wife was actually the author of his books. I suspect that this is not the case, but I also suspect that she was his first editor, and that her influence is sadly missing.

Francis returns to Sid Halley again (the only recurring character he's ever written), an ex-jockey who works as an investigator on racing-related frauds. One of his cases is finding out if an owner's horses are losi
UNDER ORDERS (Suspense, UK, Cont) – VG+
Francis, Dick – 4th Sid Halley
Michael Joseph/Penguin, 2006 – Hardcover
*** Former steeplechase jockey, now investigator, Sid Halley, has his one real and one artificial hand’s full. While attending a steeplechase race, Lord Enstone asks that Sid investigate whether his horses’ trainer is deliberately influencing how they run. The trainers’ jockey, who had been trying to reach Sid, is found dead after having been shot three times. When, days later, the traine
Brenda Margriet
Sad is it is to say, DF's writing did deteriorate towards the end. How could it not - he was in his 80's - and I was and am still thankful that he continued writing to the end. Even one of the weaker DF books is still better than many, many others I've read!

Sid Halley returns for the 4th time, but I'm afraid a happy Sid is just not as intriguing as an angsty Sid, and the conflict that was supposed to make him doubt himself was too easily clarified. The writing is still good, and the plot intric
#4 in the former jockey now respected private investigator Sid Halley mystery series. Action takes place in Lambourn where many of the racing horses are stabled and trained, in London and at some race tracks. A horse trainer, suspected suicide, and leading jockey, murdered, both friends of Halley gets him involved in finding out what happened as well the possibility of race fixing. He also is working for a Parliament Commission regarding reviewing the starting internet gambling industry.
This is the first Dick Francis I've read but I've heard good things about his work for years. So when I had the chance to pick up this title for my mystery group, I grabbed it.

I admit that I was the slightest bit skeptical because his subject is horse racing and I have negative zero interest in horses and horse racing. The book was so much more and I was very pleasantly surprised. Yes, the subject is an ex-jockey turned investigator looking into the death of a jockey and a horse trainer. Was it
Sid Halley, one of Francis' most notable heroes, returns in this well paced thriller. Like all Francis novels, there's a wealth of specialized knowledge (this time on computerized betting and DNA profiling) that's been lovingly researched and worked into the narrative. I especially enjoyed the characteristic vindication Halley achieves for several deceased friends. Less successful was Halley's love interest -- well, to be fair, I do find the love interests in these books to be something that see ...more
I always enjoy mysteries involving horses and racing and have read many, many Dick Francis mysteries. Good plot, interesting beginning. The author seemed to go on and on to educate his reader on details not required, on DNA evaluation, on bookmaking in England involving internet gambling.... On and on and on. Was he padding for more pages? I put the book down several times and finally at 2/3 way through I just decided to finish it. Not his best.
Katy M
Another great book by Dick Francis. I love his books and the glimpses into the horse world. I don't really have much to say about this book, except that one part annoyed me. I'm using quotes, but paraphrasing.

"If it had been a woman, I would have checked her butt to see if it was smaller than mine."

"You do that?"

"All women do that."

I, for one, have never done that and the thought never even occurred to me.
This is the fourth in the Sid Halley series but it is the only one I've read and it was perfectly good as a stand alone book. Sid, the main character, is an exjockey who lost his hand in an accident and has become a private detective. The book opens with a murder at the race track, but unlike other Dick Francis books I've read does not focus on the race track. This story involves his friends and family. It gets a bit long winded at times, but overall is a good book.
Dick Francis is one of the most prolific mystery writers around today, with many dozens of novels that feature horse racing sooner or later. After the publication of Shattered, and the death of his beloved wife, it seemed that he was done writing forever, but now, six years later, Under Orders shows that he is back and in fine form.

This book features Sid Halley, jockey-turned-sleuth, who once again, despite or because of physical threats, relentlessly seeks out the criminals at large in the hors
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Dick Francis's Bloodline
  • Sherlock Holmes and the King's Evil: And Other New Tales Featuring the World's Greatest Detective (Sherlock Holmes, #4)
  • A Fine Place for Death (Mitchell and Markby Village, #6)
  • The Burglar in the Rye (Bernie Rhodenbarr, #9)
  • The Barker Street Regulars (A Dog Lover's Mystery, #11)
  • Two Down (Crossword Mysteries, #2)
  • A Nun in the Closet
  • Monday the Rabbi Took Off
  • Earth Colors (Em Hansen Mystery, #9)
  • Three Complete Novels: A is for Alibi / B is for Burglar / C is for Corpse
  • A Sudden, Fearful Death (William Monk, #4)
  • Relief Valve (The Plumber's Mate #2)
  • The Shape Shifter (Navajo Mysteries, #18)
  • At Risk (Steve Cline, #1)
  • Careless in Red (Inspector Lynley, #15)
  • Hugger Mugger (Spenser, #27)
  • The Black Stallion Revolts (The Black Stallion, #9)
Dick Francis CBE (born Richard Stanley Francis) was a popular British horse racing crime writer and retired jockey.

* Sid Halley Mystery
* Kit Fielding Mystery
More about Dick Francis...

Other Books in the Series

Sid Halley (5 books)
  • Odds Against (Sid Halley, #1)
  • Whip Hand (Sid Halley, #2)
  • Come to Grief (Sid Halley, #3)
  • Dick Francis's Refusal (Sid Halley, #5)
To the Hilt Dead Heat Whip Hand (Sid Halley, #2) Proof Bolt (Kit Fielding, #2)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »