Dead Heat
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Dead Heat

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  4,037 ratings  ·  300 reviews
'I wondered if I was dying. I wasn't afraid to die, but such was the pain in my gut, I wished it would happen soon.'

The night before the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket sees the great and the good of the horse-racing community gathered for a black-tie gala dinner at the Hay Net - the racing town's favourite Michelin-starred restaurant - founded by Max Moreton, something of a loc...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published June 6th 2008 by Pan Publishing (first published 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Julien Kreuze
A very interesting read, for one particular reason: this can't be Dick Francis. All the surface pieces are here that indicate a Francis novel: the the understated tone, the careful plot, the (yawn) quietly brilliant protagonist. And yet all of the essential elements that make Francis so GOOD, that extra layer of... substance, are absolutely missing. The wry, unassuming humor, the deft characterizations, the simple insights into people and situations. Nada. If you really like Dick Francis, you mi...more
Maria
Year before last I re-read all my Dick Francis books in order of publication because I was afraid he would stop writing after his wife's death. Last year he produced Under Orders, much to my gratification and pleasure, since Sid Haley is one of my favorite characters. But Dead Heat, written with his son Felix, is Dick Francis and better. I could hardly put the book down and was thrilled at the end to find an advertisement for the next book, Silks. Now I can stop worrying. Dick Francis will conti...more
Kate
Oct 08, 2007 Kate rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys good writing
I'm not a horse racing fan, but I am a fan of good writing, and Dick Francis is one of my top all-time favorite fiction writers. He's a master of the cliffhanger chapter endings that keep me turning the pages until I've finished, to the detriment of sleep and chores getting done. This book is no exception. I'd heard he's retired from writing, but apparently his son persuaded him to keep it up; Dead Heat is a collaboration of the two of them. Excuse me, but I've got to get back to the book ...
Rich
This was co-written with his son Felix--meaning Dad did the outline while Felix did the writing with Dad looking over his shoulder. It's an okay mystery, but the pacing and feel is just slightly off. Sometimes there are too many information dumps that slow the pace and others, everything is there, but just doesn't quiet gel. When Dick Francis' name is over everything, you expect certain things from the book, and this one just doesn't quite deliver the goods.

While I don't expect Felix to be exac...more
Lucinda
This Heart-pounding, nail-bitingly exciting story will have you reading in a feverish frenzy to get to the end!

Highly acclaimed, bestselling author Dick Francis returned after a six-year absence with ‘Under Orders’ much to the delight of both avid readers and horse racing fans alike. His exceptional writing-style, detailed and intricately woven, cleverly crafted plots fueled by such dramatic, intense narrative is outstanding. As a horse racing enthusiast, Dick Francis is an author who stands-ou...more
Mary
This had a double appeal, with a restaurant owner as the main character with a musician angle thrown in. (I used to own a restaurant and I play French Horn.) I have been reading Dick Francis for many years and have an extensive collection of firsts of his. Although he is now old and fragile, this piece co-written with his son encourages all us fans that he has passed on his talents. There's some interesting info about this collaboration on his website - worth a visit.
Jennie
Dick Francis books never fail. Same formula perhaps, same type of protagonist, but the settings and individual characters are so well researched that each one is a fresh adventure from which I always learn something new. They're not all about horses!
Dewayne Stark
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chris
2.5 - It was definitely okay, one of my three problems with it - and the biggest - was the reader. I think the protagonist, Max, was supposed to be a young man, not yet thirty. However, the reader made him sound a great deal older, and sort of stuffy. I think if I could have "felt" that Max was under 30 I would have enjoyed the book more. I really enjoyed the beginning and all the nitty-gritties of running a restaurant. The mystery was compelling, but the reasons behind the hi-jinx were not plau...more
Kara Jorges
Dick Francis is winding down his career and, following in Clive Cussler’s footsteps, handing the keyboard over to his son. Since, however, Francis’ books are not all part of a series, it seems a bit like an unfair plug for an up and coming writer. For a longtime Francis fan, it was obvious the writing was different. Felix has a decent sense of humor, but his writing lacks some of his father’s charm, along with his intimacy with the horse racing industry.

Max Moreton is a chef and restaurateur in...more
Keri ♠
My first Dick Francis read and certainly not my last. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but I have to say I was quite pleasant surprised by the way this book "read." At least in my opinion, I didn't find this like many of the typical mystery books I have read with the typical way the storyline goes. I found it to be more serious and realistic than some. I gave it 4 stars, but think I'd give it 4.5 stars, not quite 5 because I usually only give 5 stars to books where the characters are really w...more
Johnny
Together, son and father, Dick and Felix Francis, managed to concoct more than one mystery prior to the death of the late, great jockey and mystery novelist. Dead Heat manages to aggregate the successful ingredients of previous Francis mysteries (lay person in fascinating profession forced to solve a mystery, events and deaths moving ever closer to the protagonist lay person, interests in the fairer sex (I don’t recall a female protagonist in Francis’ work) that may or may not work out but featu...more
Quillracer
This is the third Dick and Felix Francis collaboration I've read. Felix is finally developing the 'touch' needed to continue his father's legacy.

This book was much better than Silks. And like that book, it took place on the periphery of horse racing with the main character a chef, not a jockey or someone directly involved in horse racing.

One big change I've noticed in these later books is the addition of a love interest who becomes a permanent fixture, something missing from most of the earlier...more
Genie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kate  K. F.
Dead Heat is about Max Moreton, an up and coming chef in Newmarket who has a bad week that starts with everyone at an event he's catering getting food poisoning and keeps getting worse as another event is bombed. I found this book a good read but disappointing, because the story felt light and too fast moving. This is an issue I had with the other Dick and Felix Francis book, the plot and characters are similar to many of Dick Francis' best books but don't have the same quality.

The two main way...more
Harry
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...more
Shonna Froebel
The first Dick Francis after the death of his wife, who assisted him with research, is no disappointment. In his classic style, the action takes place near the world of horses. This time the protagonist is a young chef, whose brother is, and late father was, horse trainers near Newmarket. Max Moreton became a chef at a young age, and has been running his own restaurant for more than ten years. He also works some outside venues and has just done a celebrity chef dinner at the Jockey Club. Unfortu...more
LJ
DEAD HEAT (Suspense-Max Moreton-England/Chicago-Cont) – VG
Francis, Dick and Felix Francis – 41st book
Michael Joseph, 2007, UK Hardcover – ISBN: 9780718153656
First Sentence: I wondered if I was dying
*** Son of a jockey and trainer, Max Moreton has found his vocation not on the track, but in the kitchen. He is the co-owner and Michelin-star chef of The Hey Market in Newcastle. The night before the annual Guinness 200, Max prepares a special dinner at the race course. The result is seven dead and s...more
Kay
Got this one at the library for beach reading as I've long had a soft spot for Francis' horsey tales. Darned if I didn't jump the gun and read the thing long before toe touched sand. Happily, there are plenty more quick-paced thrillers at the library that I can lug to the beach.

I have to say that this wasn't one of Francis' best. Perhaps his son as co-author has something to do with that, or perhaps it was simply that Francis hasn't fully returned to form after a long hiatus after his wife's de...more
Grey853
Dick Francis is one of my favorite writers. Almost all of his books are set in the world of horse racing. This one has a slight twist in that the main character Max is a chef who caters at horse races instead of a jockey or ex-jockey. At one meal, there's a mass poisoning of his 250 clients and then the next day there's a bombing at the track where he's catering. People are killed, he's wounded, and it's like his life is suddenly on the downturn. But, Francis isn't finished with Max. That same w...more
Carolyn
I am a big fan of Dick and Felix Francis. However, their effort on this book is weak. As other reviews have noted, there are whiffs of elements we so appreciate. On balance, the plot is preposterous and the pacing is quite slow. It's a book that drags along predictably and suddenly all loose ends are tied up in predictable fashion. This particular title does not enhance the Francis brand.
Mark
Roadtrip audiobook #1. Well, this was our first selection on a Spring Break 22-hour (roundtrip) drive. I've enjoyed Dick Francis novels in the past, which always involve the world of British racing/horses and are narrated by likable insiders--jockeys, trainers, etc., never pro detectives. But this new one, co-written with his son, never gets convincingly into the horse biz at all, its plot contrived (but, hey, that's de rigueur in crime fiction) but, more to its detriment, very porous. Worse, it...more
Katie
Well, it wasn't his best book and it wasn't his worst book. I thought the chef/muscian angle was interesting and different. I have read, reread and own all of his books. I have never been interested in horse racing but his books always have another pull for me. That pull is character development. I ENJOY his main characters! I anxiously await their next thought or statement. This book was different. While he had the same fearful, yet couragous attitude, Max didn't have the same witty, dry sense...more
Nancy
I really enjoy Dick Francis books. His son Felix worked on this book with his father. There is a love story in this book. Max Moreton is a chef and restaurant owner, but was raised around horses, and racing. He is drawn into a mystery, after he and those he feed for a racing event, were all stricken with food poisoning. He fights to clear his reputation, in order to stay in business. The next day, he was catering a private party at the race track in one of the boxes. A bomb goes off, killing 19...more
Lou
Max Moreton is a local chef running a restaurant. He goes to cater an affair when a bout of food poisoning hits many people attending (including him). He is suspected of tampering with the food and his restaurant is shut down. After that, a number of other incidents occur that are more than coincidence. Pick up the book and find out...
Beth
Dick Francis wrote this book with his son. It's basically classic Francis (somewhat formulaic, fairly standard-issue male protagonist, horse connection, etc.), but there were a few things in there that I thought might be Felix's influence. The best one? The girlfriend saves the hero's life at the end. Francis Sr. would never have written that in the old days. Way to go, Felix! I'm sure you're helping your dad get used to the twenty-first century. Don't get me wrong--I've loved Dick Francis myste...more
Joy
A case of mass food poisoning threatens the restaurant of chef Max Moreton. With Max's guests barely recovered, he meets some of them again the next day when he caters for a high profile sponsor's group at the 2000 Guineas Stakes. This dinner ends in the death of 19 people. If only trouble only came in threes. On remarkably few clues, Max tracks down a crime lord while protecting his family and his new love.

I picked this up at bedtime, just to get a taste of what it was going to be like. I ended...more
Carrie
This is the third or fourth Dick Francis novel I've tried to like and it will probably be my last attempt. He's just not my cup of tea. I couldn't find the edge of my seat let alone perch on it. I often struggled to stay awake, propping up my interest & hoping he would grab it. Nope, didn't happen.

In each book I found Francis' plot lines & characters flat & predictable. They were neither articulate nor compelling. It seemed every character either lacked the ability to be introspecti...more
Kathryn
I'm reading elsewhere that other Francis fans can detect the difference between the Felix books and the Mary books. I'll admit, while I devoured all of Francis' earlier works, when his wife/co-writer Mary passed I slacked off a bit. Of course, there wasn't anything new until he started writing again with Felix. Dead Heat is the second D/F book I've read, and I did like it. The story ran a bit thinner than previous Francis efforts, but I didn't think the Francis style - the dry wit, the romantic...more
Sarah
I haven't read a Dick Francis book in a long time, and I'm not sure how much of this one he actually wrote. Like all of his books, it was a good read. I listened to the first half on CD and then returned the CDs to the library and switched to the book because it was taking so long. The narrator was fine, except for his atrocious attempts at the accents of a couple of different women from Wisconsin. Really, I didn't need him to attempt different voices for the women at all. It was also odd to hav...more
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100 pages still no plot!! 5 19 Oct 04, 2013 05:11PM  
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Dick Francis CBE (born Richard Stanley Francis) was a popular British horse racing crime writer and retired jockey.

Series:
* Sid Halley Mystery
* Kit Fielding Mystery
More about Dick Francis...
To the Hilt Whip Hand (Sid Halley, #2) Proof Bolt (Kit Fielding, #2) Dead Cert

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