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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  3,840 ratings  ·  136 reviews
'Dick Francis's fiction has a secret ingedient - his inimitable knack of grabbing the reader's attention on page one and holding tight to the very end' Sunday Telegraph
Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 1st 2001 by Pan MacMillan (first published January 1st 2000)
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Maria Snyder
I started reading Dick Francis when I was 14 years old and looking for a mystery in the library. The cover of the first one I read looked intriguing, the title, Nerve seemed interesting, and the synopsis about a jockey who has lost his nerve made me add it to my pile of books. After that I was hooked, reading his novels until I caught up on his entire back-list and then had to wait a year for the new one. I traveled to see him and his lovely wife every year to get books signed and, as he aged, I ...more
Daniel Bratell
About Dick Francis you can either say "the books are all the same" or "you get exactly what you expect". There will be a fairly young main character that excel at his occupation. The occupation will always be different and never directly involved in horse racing, but some way still involved in the racing world. The main character will be single but meet a lovely girl somewhere along the trip. The main character will suffer bodily harm. The books are always told from a first person perspective. T ...more
Victoria Mixon
I managed to get myself stuck in a hotel room without my three bags of vintage mysteries that I'm working my way through, so I went in the hotel lounge and picked up the only mystery on the shelf.

Bummer about that. This is yet another of the "New York Times Best Sellers" that's cheap crapola cranked out to a formula so the author can live "in the Caribbean."

You know what you're telling us by calling crap like this "best sellers," New York Times? That you wouldn't know a good book if it poked you
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
I have been a Francis fan for many years now, having read most of his books. While this one is not his best, it it still a far better effort than we see from other authors.
This book contains the familiar comforts we have come to expect from Francis-- a likeable accidental hero, a loathsome villan or two, a nice girl and the chance to learn something. Reading one of Francis' novels is like sitting down with an old, familiar friend. We know what to expect, and I think this lack of surprise is why
This is a re-read. I've only read it once before, and it stuck in my head because the protagonist, glass-blower Gerard Logan, lives in the village of Broadway, in the Cotswolds in England, and I have been there, often. I can visualize the very shop that I think Mr. Francis imagined as Gerard's glass studio and shop, the hotel across the street, and the main road generally.

I always learn something from a Dick Francis novel: about people, about writing, and about whatever occupation or hobby feat
Donna Robbins
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chris Gager
Been meaning to read a Dick Francis book. No time like the present - eh?. Very nice embossed cover on this paperback. The style's quite breezy so far. Reminds me of "The Gate House"!

Moving right along... seems weird that all sorts of crazy stuff's going on with minimal police interest. The author/Gerard is an amateur James Bond sort of guy - ladies man. The tone is a bit off. Gerard is supposed to be a "young" man but the author makes him seem more middle-aged(like Mr. Francis). Another example
New Year's Eve of the millennium - Martin Stukely dies while riding as a jockey. After the race, his friend Gerard Logan is handed a videotape for safekeeping. The tape is stolen from his glassworks shop that night in the midnight celebration before Gerard had a chance to know what was on it. Within the following week, Gerard is attacked by four masked individuals who demanded the return of the tape. In typical Dick Francis fashion, it then becomes a race to determine what is on this missing ta ...more
Although this was good, I think it was the beginning of a slide down in quality on Francis' books. Keep in mind, I've loved his books for 30 years, so this is hard to say. They're still good yarns, though, with characters you can like, but I found this less enthralling than usual.
Sep 07, 2012 Charly rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Charly by: Anyone
My first exposure to Dick Francis as a novelist. The mystery was a fun quick read with a reasonable plot and characters. He unfolded the piece well and I will most likely revisit. While the work is based around horse racing it is in fact a vehicle more than anything else.
Strangely for a Dick Francis book, this is only vaguely connected to horse racing, but even so it is brilliantly written, and one of those books that once you pick up is very hard to put down again.
Disappointing; the plot was not well thought-out. Friends in one book club have encouraged me to read some of Francis' earlier books and assured me that this was NOT one of his best.
My least favourite Dick Francis book so far.
Bark's Book Nonsense
I’m not a huge mystery reader but do enjoy listening to them on my long drive to and from work. This one had my attention, lost it, gained it backed and would then lose it again. Could be my distracted mind or it could be that it was just wasn’t an interesting mystery?

That said, there were several things to like. The protagonist Jarrod, an accomplished glassblower, was enjoyable. he’s this regular guy with a very interesting profession who finds himself accosted by dangerous types and suddenly
An Odd1
"Shattered" by Dick Francis is the fate of glass horse award exploding at climax of plot, told first-person, by glass-blower Gerard Logan. He loans his videotaped instructions for a priceless antique necklace copy to pal jockey Martin Stukely, who falls fatally, before dressing-room valet Eddie returns tape. Usual plot: thugs beat hero for mystery. Two sets of villains merge, keep beating, stealing tapes, confuses into three tapes and plot threads that go nowhere. I remembered clues and felt uni ...more
Eleanor Jones
I recently went back to re-read this one and was blown away. I hadn't read it since it was first published in 2000 and after hearing author Felix Francis (Dick Francis's son) speak about it at a conference I was interested enough to revisit it. I'm so very glad I did. It's really such an engaging story.

For those of you who may have heard Dick Francis books are all about horse racing, this is a prime example of an excellent thriller where the racing scene is more of a backdrop. The primary focus
I am an avid Dick Francis reader, and in giving this particular book two stars, I am doing so relative to what I would normally expect from a Francis novel.

I really enjoyed learning more about glassblowing and thought the main character was quite likeable. I also thought the villain quite intriguing and scary. However, the mystery didn't really suck me in, and there were several aspects I found irritating. For example, Garard finds himself in a relationship with the policewoman initially sent t
This book has glass-blower Gerard Logan trying to find out what happened to a tape sent him by his friend Martin Stukely. It doesn't have much to do with horses, other than that Martin is a jockey who dies when his horse trips during a race at the beginning of the book and that Gerard will create a trophy in Martin's memory of a horse leaping from a crystal ball at the end of the book. (The cover of the hardback features the crystal horse and is one of the best covers I have ever seen.) On the w ...more
I do enjoy Dick Francis books. I took this on holiday and read it in a day. Thoroughly enjoyable and, as always with Francis, full of detail about a job/industry I don't know anything about - in this case glass-making.

I thought the writing was a little weak in places at the beginning (there was quite a lot of "on that cold January morning", "That January morning at the start of the new millennium", which grated a bit), but it improved.

A good read, though not one of his best.
Two words: Beach reading.

Not one of Francis' best, in my opinion, but not the least either. The hero in this case is a glass blower, and so Francis (and son) did their characteristic thorough research into the trade. I didn't find the passages in which the hero rhapsodizes about his artistic visions to be that convincing, but then they were less irritating than the scenes with the compulsory love interest (this time a police woman). I do wish Francis would expunge the word "cuddle" from his lexi
Kathleen Brumbaugh
Dick Francis was a gifted storyteller, but his wife did most of the research. All of his books are based on British horse racing in some way, though I'm always amazed what else I learn. This book focuses on the art of glass blowing, all its artistry and hazards. The main character, Gerard, is an artisan and business owner in addition to his amateur sleuthing to find his friend's killer. It's also interesting to read about Gerard's relationship with his house.
Normally I love mysteries. However, this one was sort of flat. It could be that I'm going through a phase, the editors of Reader's Digest did a poor job of shortening it, or that it really wasn't that good for me.

In this story, a glassblower is given a mysterious package post-mortem of his dead friend. Following this, his place is robbed and the package stolen. Although this glassblower doesn't know what was on the tape, who stole it, etc., he's finding he gets tailed and beaten for information
Is Dick Francis predictable? Yes. There's always a love interest smitten by the protagonist almost immediately. The bad guys always trap the good guy and inflict bodily harm a few times with a big dramatic denouement at the end. The good guy always wins. And there's always some relation to horse-racing. But with all that…still a good read, still entertaining, still my go-to when I have nothing else to read and I'm in an escapist mood.
Gypsy Lady
The page numbers posted for the editions are questionable. My hardcover edition is 289 pages.

Page 52
along with other mundane greasings of the expensive wheels of death.

Page 53
I slouched in Martin's chair, deep in regret. One had so few close friends in life. None to spare. His personality filled the room to the extend that it seem that if I turned I would see him standing by his bookcase.

Page 82
Nowhere in print or chat had his condition been disclosed, but if he were afraid I would not only broa
Gerard Logan, glassblower, gets a videotape from a jockey friend for safekeeping, just after the jockey is killed in a race. Shortly after, the videotape is stolen, and Logan has no idea what is on it. For me, this was not that great. Didn't much care for the storyline, and Logan's behavior was not believable. Not one of Francis' better efforts.
Renée Mee
Yup he follows a basic template but the books still well written. Sometimes it's nice to have something predictable. At least with the new hero having a new skill set each novel,you learn something new as author does attempt to research occupation. Of course typical romance thrown in but this one went really light on it so that was a relief
Glass blower friend of a celebrated jockey becomes involved with a gang of very violent people over a missing tape which was given to the jockey and then the glass blower. Several layers to the plot line along with a cast of several colorful characters and you have both an interesting story and good mystery.
Carol Crigger
I've been a fan of Dick Francis books for at least thirty years, maybe more. Those by his son Felix continue the tradition. One thing I always admired about the senior Francis's books, is that I always learned something. Each has it's little teaching moment. In SHATTERED the subject is glass blowing. Odd in a book connected to horse racing? Maybe so, but it certainly works in the plot. I'd read this book when it first came out, of course, but a copy was recently placed in my hands and I couldn't ...more
Gerard, glass blower, is caught in a mystery around a stolen videotape. I really didn't like this much. The story is fine, but it didn't feel like a DF book to me, to the point that I checked the author's name twice while reading.
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Dick Francis CBE (born Richard Stanley Francis) was a popular British horse racing crime writer and retired jockey.

Dick Francis worked on his books with his wife, Mary, before her death. Dick considered his wife to be his co-writer - as he is quoted in the book, "The Dick Francis Companion", released in 2003:
"Mary and I worked as a team. ... I have often said that I would have been happy to have b
More about Dick Francis...

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