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Dick Francis's Refusal (Sid Halley, #5)
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Dick Francis's Refusal (Sid Halley #5)

3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,389 Ratings  ·  268 Reviews
Dick Francis’s beloved investigator Sid Halley returns in the riveting new mystery by New York Times–bestselling author Felix Francis.

Six years ago, investigator Sid Halley retired for good. He’d been harassed, beaten, shot, even lost a hand to his investigating business, and enough was enough. For the sake of his wife and new daughter he gave up that life of danger and un
Hardcover, 371 pages
Published September 3rd 2013 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published January 1st 2013)
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Oct 20, 2013 Harry rated it really liked it
Book Review

Refusal is Felix's second novel written alone without his father (Gamble being the first). I wonder what this must be like for Felix, to have spent all those years (40 of them) collaborating with his mother and father on the Dick Francis books, and driven by a desire to honor his father's legacy and his mother's inspiration, all those mornings at the breakfast table perspiring on what the actual damage of a bullet might be when entering a human body, what the physics were behind the t
Maureen Mullis
Sep 30, 2013 Maureen Mullis rated it it was amazing
Dick Francis’s Refusal, by Felix Francis, falls so seamlessly into the Sid Halley book storyline that you cannot tell the difference between this book and the ones written by Dick himself. The Francis Franchise is alive and well in Felix’s hands. The writing is tight, the mystery first rate, the pacing fast and furious so that there was the feeling that this book probably would have been written by Dick Francis if he were still alive. It makes me so glad that Felix Francis is as talented a write ...more
In the classic Dick Francis novel, the villain was a figure of palpable menace and evilness, but the hero took all the villain dished out and kept coming. Although Felix Francis' writing style is different from Dick Francis, he continues to put out interesting mysteries set close to the English racing scene. His villains are also getting more menacing and his books more readable.

Refusal is an able sequel to the Sid Halley mystery line. Halley now married with a young daughter is approached by Si
3.5 stars Felix Francis has finally come into his own with this book. It was a risk, taking on one of his father's most beloved characters, but it paid off. The story is tight plotted, well-written, fast-paced, and is reminiscent of Dick Francis while being Felix's own work. It was the first solo book by Felix Francis that didn't read as if he were trying to imitate his father's style. He pretty much stays true to Dick's formula but updates it and puts his own spin on it, instead of trying to co ...more
Sep 21, 2013 Sue rated it it was amazing
I have to admit I groaned a little bit when I read that Felix Francis was going to do a Sid Halley book. Sid is one of my favorite DF characters (second only to Kit Fielding) and seemed to be about due some "happily ever after" after his third book. So I was somewhat apprehensive about this undertaking.
I was wrong. This is by far the best book by Felix so far. The pacing was excellent, and Sid really seemed liked Sid. Some of the plot was predictable, but there were interesting twists and turns
Eleanor Jones
Sep 05, 2013 Eleanor Jones rated it it was amazing
Oh, it is just so good to be able to read a really excellent Sid Halley book again! This polished presentation of Sid's life and adventures six years after we left him in Under Orders journeys from a gentle re-introduction of my favorite ex-jockey to several spine-jarring plot twists and a villain so, well, villainous, it's almost impossible to comprehend. (Just TRY not getting emotionally involved in this one!) And the ending is both tremendously satisfying and a bit cliff-hangerish (leaving me ...more
Sep 19, 2013 Jacqueline rated it it was amazing
Lovely. I think Felix has a real good handle on his father's style and on the character of Sid Halley. The plot made sense and the villain was suitably evil. This just seemed to be a recipe for a bad guy to follow. I could see someone sufficiently callous fixing races this way. Anyway if you're a fan, I think you'll like this one. It was great to see Sid again and to see him having a good life.
Apr 10, 2016 Jodi rated it liked it
Although this book was well narrated by Martin Jarvis, he didn't feel like Sid Halley to me. I'm not sure I know what that means, exactly, but it's also been awhile since Sid made an appearance. He's been retired from being an investigator for a long time now. Doesn't go to the races, doesn't keep up. But he's dragged back in kicking and screaming when an old friend is convinced that races are being fixed and then ends up dead. He would have let sleeping dogs lie except that other people want hi ...more
Oct 05, 2013 Ionia rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
The apple does not fall far from the tree and in this case that is a good thing.

While Sid Halley was not my favourite of Francis's characters ever, I really think that the continuation of his story through Felix Francis's pen has made the character stronger and more interesting.

Share a secret with everyone?...I love it when I can hate a character so much that I want to jump into the pages and strangle them. In my opinion, books are meant to make us experience a variety of emotions. I hated Mar
Kathy Martin
Sep 14, 2013 Kathy Martin rated it really liked it
Sid Halley retired from being a private investigator and is now living near his ex-father-in-law with his wife and six-year-old daughter. He is working as an investor and telling himself that his life if satisfying. When someone high in command of British horse racing asks Sid to investigate what looks like race fixing, Sid refuses. When that person is found dead of an apparent suicide the next day, Sid is interested but still unwilling to be involved.

It takes a threatening phone call that deman
First Sentence: “No,” I said.

Sid Halley is married, a father, and six-years retired from doing investigative work. Sir Richard Stewart approaches him asking that Sid look into race results that seem wrong. Although Sid is curious, he refuses but agrees to look over the information. However, the next day Sir Richard is found dead in his car of an apparent suicide and Sid receives a phone call, followed by escalating threats, demanding he sign a report of no wrong-doing…or else.

Having read every
Sep 30, 2013 Grey853 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jean Poulos
Oct 10, 2013 Jean Poulos rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013-audio, mystery
There have been a few authors’ that have died and their sons have tried to carry on the writing without success. I am happy to say that Felix Francis has done a fairly good job. When Dick Francis’s wife died the books lacked the polish she gave it as a master of the English language. This is the second book that Felix has written alone, and he has brought back his Father’s character Sid Halley. Sid is now retired from being a detective, is married with a 6 year old girl and is working on his inv ...more
Oct 14, 2013 David rated it liked it
Sid Halley was one of Dick Francis's most endearing characters; particularly in Come to Grief where his compassionate relationship with a dying child was a tour de force. His enduring relationship with his ex-father in law was another quirky pleasure.

Felix Francis has successfully managed the passing of the baton in the continuation of the Dick Francis genre. There are however moments when I wish for the moments of insight that his father brought to his writing. In a couple of sentences Francis
Sep 26, 2013 Jackie rated it really liked it
I recall over the last 30+ years how eagerly I awaited the next, new book by Dick Francis. I always loved his characters. And Sid Halley was one of my favorites. What fun to have a new adventure to read that stars Mr. Halley. And adventure this was.

No one can replace Dick Francis. But I think his son, Felix, is a worthy successor. The good guys are always good guys - full of integrity and decency. The villains: oh, so villainous. The conclusions - always satisfying.

This was a great read. Just p
Carly Kirk
This was an okay read. It was nice to find out how Sid Halley's life turned out, but disappointing that he married such a shrew... at least that's how she comes across - I didn't much like her and very much think he could have done better... or the author could have written her better.
Oct 02, 2013 Clark rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
Congratulations to Felix for writing his best novel to date. With his 7th novel (4 with his father & 3 on his own) he has done it! Refusal has all the characteristics of a Dick Francis mystery: suspense, horse-racing related, hated and feared villains and, most of all a close feeling of attachment to the protagonist, Sid Halley. I particularly enjoyed the further development of the character and maturing of Sid Halley after his retirement. I normally don't feel it is fair to compare Felix to ...more
Feb 21, 2016 Dlora rated it really liked it
Probably my favorite of the Felix Francis novels so far. He even continued one of his father's famous characters, investigator Sid Halley, who quit investigating six years ago in order to be sure his wife and child, Sassy, did not become hostages to fortune. But then Sir Richard Stewart tries to draw him into investigating a series of suspect races, insisting that something is going on that will ruin the future of horse racing. Sid says no, and then Sir Richard is found dead. Not quite believing ...more
June Ahern
Jan 10, 2016 June Ahern rated it really liked it
I remained uncertain whether to read Felix Francis' horse racing suspense novel because of my enjoyment of his author father, Dick Francis who created the PI in horse racing. Also, I had read one of Felix Francis' attempts before and did not find the same reading pleasure. But I'm glad I did read "Refusal". This author has sit his stride. It is fast paced and full of twists and turns. PI Sid Halley is retired mainly because he's not only tired of being almost killed, but his wife is more than ti ...more
Feb 03, 2015 Rohan rated it it was ok
Sid Halley and the world have changed much since Dick Francis introduced the ex-jockey, detective.
'Refusal' is an addition to the series but in no way can it be compared to Dick Francis' Sid Halley adventures. In that respect, Felix Francis had big shoes to fill.
A reader of Dick Francis' works will find 'Refusal' a nice adventure yet will pick up on the new hand that's scripting the story. Felix Francis attempts, at many places in the story, to break from the fast pace by dropping in mundane mo
Mary Schneider
Jan 01, 2015 Mary Schneider rated it it was ok
I've loved Dick Francis' books since I was in high school, and own a complete collection of his novels.

To say that the son does not live up to his father's writing would be understating the obvious. I've been trying to read through his books. I powered through Silks, and Gamble... but the fire that marked Dick Francis' work as an expert in his craft.. it's just not there.

To drag poor old Sid Halley back up simply adds insult to injury. The protagonists in the previous novels have at least been
Michael Sova
Nov 19, 2014 Michael Sova rated it really liked it
I have been a fan of Dick Francis almost as long as I've been a fan of reading and of books. His writing career spanned more than five decades and included dozens of wonderful novels. Francis passed away in 2010, and the world of literature lost one of the most gifted storytellers its ever known. I feel like I owe him a debt of gratitude. His novels not only provided countless hours of enjoyment, but he, at least in part, inspired me to launch my own writing career. Francis, in case you're unfa ...more
Jun 12, 2014 Andrea rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I've been reading Dick Francis's novels from the beginning, then his co-authored books with son Felix, and now Felix's own novels set in the same world of British horse-racing. At first, I was uneasy accepting Felix's taking on of his father's mantle (his characters a bit too harsh, imo), but in this novel I feel he has come into his own.

Sid Halley is the only fictional character that Dick Francis repeated in three different novels, Odds Against, Come to Grief, a
Gloria Feit
Apr 21, 2014 Gloria Feit rated it it was amazing
It’s been six years since investigator Sid Halley retired, tired of the beatings, pressure and danger. Since then, he has lived a quiet life with his wife and young daughter, earning a living as an investor, trading money instruments and shares. He promised himself and his wife that he would not return to his former profession, but events proved the opposite when the chairman of the racing authority begged him to look into a series of questionable races.

Following a familiar Francis formula, circ
Nicole Richards
I so badly wanted to like this novel because I have been a fan of Dick Francis since I read a condensed version of 'Whip hand' when I was about 10 or so. And yes I realise that this is written by his son. I have loved horses my whole life and despite not having owned one for many years now I still love the races.
It was wonderful to see Sid Halley return - he has been a favourite character of mine ever since that first Francis book. But I only wish that this novel had done this wonderfully stead
Sep 21, 2013 Anne rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
I love all these books. A holdover from my childhood of loving all things horse and my new adult years of loving all things mystery. This is an excellent combination. This character, Sid Halley, was in previous books and I remember him only a bit. Generally the main characters in these books have integrity and intelligence, a potent weapon to my head and heart. They are fast for me to read and enjoyable, if not completely memorable over the long haul.
Aug 30, 2014 Nancy rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
I discovered Sid Halley, former steeplechase jockey turned private investigator, first on PBS and then in the Dick Francis books, which I read avidly years ago. Through them I learned a lot about British racing tradition and about steeplechase in particular. This one, and audiobook, was written by Francis's son. It is a good read, concerning Halley's being asked to look at the possible large-scale fixing of races and then being dragged unwilling in to investigating on the sly when someone tries ...more
Sep 15, 2013 Jane rated it it was amazing
Shelves: electronic, 2013
Felix Francis has finally found his groove with this installment in the Sid Halley series. he has found the right balance between fact-sharing and narrative, and I look forward to more of his books. About the only thing I didn't care for was Marina, who seems a little too hapless for a woman with her intelligence, but I think she remains the same as before. An excellent read for fans of Dick Francis and especially Sid Halley.
Feb 03, 2014 Gena rated it really liked it
Sid Halley is back! It's been six years since the former jockey turned PI has taken a case and in Refusal - well, let's just say he's not keen on doing so any time soon. I think this is the first Sid Halley book written solely by Felix Francis but you really can't tell the difference. It's just as good at those written by Dick. In this one Sid, who is now an investment adviser (really?) dismisses Sir Richard Stewart's pleas to look into some bet fixing. Next day Sir Richard is dead and Sid is be ...more
Jul 02, 2014 Bob rated it liked it
Sid Halley is back. Sid was a Jockey who had to retire due to injury and then a PI but has retired from that when his daughter came along. When a friend from the racing community comes to him with a request that he look into irregularities in some of the races, he declines not wanting to get back into that world. When a day later her hears that the friend is dead, supposedly committing suicide he suspects that it was murder instead. Then he gets a phone call form a mysterious voice with an Irish ...more
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  • Even Money
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
More about Felix 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)
  • Under Orders (Sid Halley, #4)

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