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Slay Ride

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  1,638 ratings  ·  54 reviews
"One of the greatest living suspense writers."
British investigator David Cleveland has come to Oslo to investigate a champion jockey's disappearance right before the National, a race he was certain to win. But he's almost drowned in a fjord for his troubles. David knows accident and coincidence couldn't begin to explain this little mishap or the oncoming gruesome
Published (first published 1973)
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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
Nikhilesh Sinha
Perhaps I have outgrown Francis. It is also possible that Slay Ride does not rank amongst his best. I was somewhat underwhelmed. All the usual ingredients were sprinkled in with practiced competence, the devious plot uncovered by a stubborn and shrewd protagonist, efficiently brutal violence -unglorified, but subtly gratuitous, a suitably unconventional erotic/romantic filament threaded through the narrative and a worthy adversary. But while there are sparks, the book never quite takes off. Ther ...more
David Cleveland, investigator with the British Jockey Club is summoned to Oslo Norway to look into the disappearance of jockey Bob Sherman. It seems several bags of money are missing as well, with all fingers pointing at Bob as the thief. Bob's dead body is located and then the search is on to figure out who killed Bob and why. To complicate matters, someone clearly doesn't want David investigating and seeks to have him dead as well.
Re-read in 2012. Had a hard time following this one and keepi
Alexis Neal
A decent Francis book. The villain was medium-sized--not a raving psychopath, but not a run-of-the-mill John Q. Citizen either. A fair number of harrowing experiences for the hero, and a few alluring and possibly off-limits women . . . all in all, a pretty solid entry. Oh, and it takes place largely in Norway, which is a fun change from Francis' usual setting.
Dick Francis is one of the few prolific mystery writers whose books are primarily stand-alones. Although all his settings involve horses and/or racing in some way, there is an incredible variety to his work so it doesn't get stale. In Slay Ride, the main character is investigating the disappearance of an English jockey in Oslo.
Early Francis and his style hadn't settled down yet: the women are even more marginal than usual, the reason to keep reading is thin, and the reveal was barely suspenseful at all.
I buy all Dick Francis books I find in thrift stores (because my book habit is healthier than a drug habit, but can be just as expensive if I spend time in Borders), but I didn't quite expect what I got with Slay Ride. First, it's one of his oldest works (1973), and there are a couple of dating elements in the plot that make the story feel a little old. Second, the story just STARTS, and the reader is left to keep up, which is annoying as there are quite a few unfamiliar elements to deal with (t ...more
A wonderful read like all Dick Francis novels. In this one, a British jockey disappears from a Norwegian racetrack and an investigator from the British Jockey Club comes over to investigate. The cold seeps into every chapter, from the frigid water early in the novel to the mountain peaks at the end. Inevitably horse racing is caught in larger issues of business corruption.
I started reading Dick Francis after a chance encounter with an abridged version of Bolt which I found in an old Reader's Digest tome. I loved the male protagonist, Kit, in that story and figured that I should give more of Francis' books a try.

Slay Ride takes place in Norway and is about a missing English jockey who stole a large amount of money from a Norwegian racing club. Though it took a while for me to get into the story, it turned out to be a fairly quick read. I liked the protagonist, not
This was a long investigation into a relatively small matter (small except for the murder). There were quite a few characters, all industrial one way or another, with Norwegian names, difficult to keep straight in one's head. Not one of Francis' best.
Interesting to have primary setting in Norway. Twist in the motive/plot. Creative detective deduction; looking at situation backwards as well as what is not known.
As with all Dick Francis books I have read thus far, well written and engaging. The biggest problem with my reading his books is that I stay up too late on work nights reading.
Nancy Schober
Francis' books are entirely too short. He creates these worlds peopled with interesting characters. Touches on some subjects that I'd like explored in more depth...and then he just ends the story as soon as the mystery is solved. Harump!
Another solid thriller in the Dick Francis collection. There's not much actual riding in this one, but the mystery part is a step above the usual fare from Francis. THis time the setting is the racing world of Norway and an investigation into the disapearance of a visiting English jockey. The cast of characters is well contouerd and includes some staples of the author: the introverted, smart young man with a stubborn streak and a strong sense of justice, the bullying industrial magnates, the aff ...more
Vintage Dick Francis. I thought I'd read them all, but I found this one at a recent University of Chicago Library book-sale. Okay, $1 may have been a lot to pay for this 1973 un-classic, but do you know how rare it is for me to find a Dick Francis book I haven't read!? It was really good too. I read his latest recently and was deeply disappointed. I fear he may have lost his edge. So it was nice to go back to his better years. This one is lean and spare with everything that makes the formula wor ...more
As always, a great combination of action, suspense, and horse racing this time in a Norwegian setting.
I've always liked Dick Francis and he didn't disappoint.Kept you guessing to the end.
Not his best, but great for reading while exercising
I like reading these brief book reviews. I'd like to know if anyone is actually reading them. I have few friends, so I'm counting on you, friends. This Dick Francis book was just like the rest of them: easily read and centered around horse racing. This one was set in Norway. Dad gave me a bunch of Dick Francis books, and the pile is dwindling. I have finished all of them so far, so I can recommend these fiction books. I won't buy any more though, after I finish the pile. I'd like to read some ot ...more
Melissa Reid
Good read, some violence, but quite decent over all. Requires more from the reader than a mindless, summer read, but an excellent, by-the-fire on-a-long-winter-evening mystery read. I actually read two of his books this weekend and will probably read more as time goes by. Not really enriching in any way, but sometimes you've just got to take a break-Dick Francis provides a good break and another world with its own issues (not yours!!) to move into for a while.
Jeff Steward
My first Dick Francis read. Slay-Ride was a fun quick read that was not overly formula. Couple of things over the top and a couple of things that were totally predictable. The rest moved at a good pace and told a good story. Overall a good bathtub or bedside book. To give you an idea I read half in a coffe shop and the other half during a high school graduation. It was relaxing in the first and better than the speeches in the second.
A fun, quick read that combined horse racing, corporate espionage and the disappearance of a horse jockey into a fast-paced read. For some reason, Slay Ride was different from the other Dick Francis novels I've read, it felt a bit more cynical and bleak. I found all the characters interesting (especially obsessive, paranoid Arne), the plot entertaining and the conclusion to be satisfying.
I blasted through every Dick Francis book I could find after reading a story about some jockey in "Cricket" magazine as child. Completely fascinated by the jockey life so Dick Francis' series was right on target. I'm giving them all 4 stars since even though I can't remember anything about the actual plot lines, I obviously enjoyed them enough to keep plowing through them all.
Brian Leslie
I am a huge Dick Francis fan, but this book just didn't have his normal flair. I found it hard to connect with the characters at any level. I came to this realization not long after starting the book, but hoped something would change as it went along. It didn't.

With so many other good books in his catalog, I would recommend skipping this one.
Typical Dick Francis ... Investigator David Cleveland is called in after a British jockey has vanished with bags of cash. Some Francis novels start out slow - this isn't one of them. The assignment proves to be dangerous from page one. Although not my favorite, it's certainly worth reading.
Francis, Dick - 12th book

Set in Norway, this is a thriller in which an English jockey has gone missing and it is written by the former National Hunt Jockey and author of many thrillers.

This book (David Cleveland, protagonist) never quick captured me the way others did.
I really enjoyed this. I hadn't read D. Francis before, and wasn't expecting much. I grabbed this on the way out the door to a dr. appointment when I couldn't find anything else. I was suprised how much I liked it. A not-too-taxing mystey, set in Norway.
A solid Dick Francis novel. Not one of my absolute favorites. I don't think that the hero is quite as well developed as some others of DF's heros. Still it had all the elements we're familiar with and look for in one of his novels.
Not bad, but a good effort. A little slow, for one of his earliest works I have been able to find. Made me want to visit Norway, though... lol. I'm rarely disappointed by the author, so I will read more of his works.
Jan 01, 2010 Lorraine rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
So far, so good, but lacking in the horsey aspect as more of his later books do. Learning lots about scenic Norway and how one could survive in just above freezing water.

A great mystery and well written.
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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...
To the Hilt Dead Heat Whip Hand (Sid Halley, #2) Proof Bolt (Kit Fielding, #2)

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