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Decider

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,193 Ratings  ·  126 Reviews
The privately owned Stratton Park racecourse faces ruin in the hands of a squabbling family. Because of shares inherited from his mother, Lee Morris is unwillingly sucked into the turmoil. A half-outsider, he is faced with difficult choices which have deadly consequences.
Hardcover, Large Print, 400 pages
Published 1994 by G K Hall (first published February 1st 1993)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nolan
Mar 05, 2009 Nolan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lee Morris is the kind of guy you’d want for a friend. He’s self-assured in many ways, physically strong and mentally at the top of his game. Lee makes a living by prowling around Britain scouting out old ruined buildings and businesses he can remodel, restore, and revitalize.

Lee shares his house with his wife, Amanda, and six boys. He’s a good dad despite the coldness and apathetic distance of the marriage, which is crumbling and dying not from verbal abuse so much as from a lack of love and co
...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
Chris
This novel stands out because Lee is one of the few Francis characters to have children. And Lee’s love for his children is very strong. It’s strange because the character does not have a good relationship with his wife and the romance, if you wish to call it that seems to occur with a character that really isn’t an entity. In fact, Lee’s wife Amanda seems to be a Disney mother – not there but supposedly a good one.
That said Lee and his children are extremely well drawn. One wonders if Francis
...more
Steelwhisper
A rollercoaster!
Sue
Nov 10, 2014 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, england
The dysfunctional Stratton family are owners of the Stratton Park racecourse. The racecourse is old and in need of repair but the family is divided on what to do: modernize, leave as-is, or sell. Lee Morris, related through the elder Lord Stratton, owns seven shares and decides to attend one of the shareholder meetings. That was where he became aware of the family secrets so dear that they’d do anything to cover them up. Lee takes an interest in the proceedings. As an architect, he understands ...more
Mrsgaskell
Feb 02, 2012 Mrsgaskell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british, 8-star
Lee Morris is a hands-on builder as well as an architect. He and his wife Amanda married at the age of nineteen and still relatively young, are now the parents of six boys. Lee's mother was once married to Keith Stratton, one of the sons of Lord Stratton, owner of Stratton Park racecourse. It was an abusive marriage and when Lee's mother left, abandoning her daughter Hannah, her father-in-law gave her eight shares in the racecourse which Lee inherited on his mother's death. Lee is not related to ...more
Naomi
Apr 21, 2012 Naomi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lee Morris, the father of 6 sons is estranged from his wife even though they are still living together. He is owner of a few of stock in a racecourse. He finally goes to a meeting and meets the Stratton family in person. His mother had been married to one of the Strattons but he was not Lee's father. Her second husband was. Lee takes his sons on a outing to the racecourse in their "bus" and they have a great time until they run into the worst of the Strattons, Keith who was his mother's first hu ...more
Brenda Kirton
This is my favorite of the Dick Francis novels. I fell in love Lee Norris. He is someone I would like to know in real life. The story is intense and low key at the same time. When the protagonist in Dick Francis novel is hurt (and they usually are), they hurt but keep going. Part of the appeal to his novels is this approach to life. Even though he started off writing about jockeys, Dick Francis continued on to write about so many other fields, like in this on where Lee Morris is an architect who ...more
David
Feb 09, 2016 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A touch of Agatha Christie at the horseraces, with a twist of Cleudo thrown in for good measure. A little dated, but overall, a sedate, easy-to-read crime fiction novel.
Gerald Curtis
Jan 23, 2012 Gerald Curtis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This is only my second Dick Francis book, and I can assure you it won’t be my last. I enjoyed it far more than my first, which I liked very much. What an incredible depth this author achieves, yet in such incremental steps that the accumulated complexity never overwhelms the reader. And what a wide range of perfectly believable characters he creates. You feel as though you are peeking into people’s real lives.

While it started slowly, the last half was one of those "you can't put it down" storie
...more
Kaethe
Jul 08, 2014 Kaethe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this one. It's the first mystery he's ever written where the hero had kids, so he gave him seven. All boys. On the other hand, he went back to the unhappy marriage theme letting the wife have an affair and the hero long to have one. Can't have everything. A great example of the history factor where it is only by learning what characters have done that the hero can blackmail his way to safety. Also a fine example of psychological detection, since the hero must consider the various members ...more
Darcy
May 09, 2011 Darcy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I adore the strong male characters in Dick Francis mysteries. The protagonist in this one could take a beating without complaint, out-manipulate bad guys full of uncontrollable rage, design beautiful homes from ruined historical buildings as both builder and architect, provide excellent parenting skills to his five sons, all while restoring a family-owned racetrack to great reknown. I want to marry a Francis-protagonist. What a renaissance man!
Ed
May 27, 2016 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Racing related thriller - Lee Morris, 35, is an architect/builder specializing in restoring ``ruins'' like his own splendid barn house inhabited by his six sons and his lovely, but increasingly remote, wife. He is also one of few shareholders in Stratton Park racecourse, ownership of which is being hotly contested by the heirs of Lord Stratton. Lee's mother had married and quickly divorced the baron's vicious son Keith. Since part of her divorce settlement included the racecourse stock, Lee (acc ...more
Mj
Jul 26, 2015 Mj rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read that Dick Francis wrote good mysteries and just finished reading Decider, one of his standalone books. I totally agree with the positive reviews about his work. He is a good storyteller. Decider was an enjoyable and interesting read that could easily be completed in one sitting unless you prefer to stretch things out.

Francis was born in Wales to a jockey and stable manager and grew up in England around horses. He served in the Royal Air Force during WW11, then became a champion jump jocke
...more
Jamilah
Aug 24, 2007 Jamilah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Dick Francis' characters. They are very philosophical and good-natured, able to survive the most horrible calamities with a sense of humor. The hero of this book is in a rather depressing marriage, but as usual is a very likable guy. Fast-paced and tense, as most of his books are.
Fredrick Danysh
Sep 23, 2015 Fredrick Danysh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lee Morris is a beginning architect and engineer who gets in the middle of a feud over a racecourse between members of a family that he is connected to. He believes that choice is preordained. When murder occurs he comes in danger himself and must make critical choices.
Faith Freewoman
Jul 19, 2015 Faith Freewoman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
In honor of Father's Day, I continued my nostalgic journey through Dick Francis's irresistible mysteries by re-reading about the best hero father I've ever encountered in fiction.

Many people agree that Francis's heroes are the best part of his stories, and architect Lee Morris is one of the most engaging and sympathetic. But make no mistake, he also has the stubbornly honorable nature I've come to expect from them.

We meet our hero (and his six sons and mostly-estranged-wife) at the family's most
...more
Alarra
Jan 10, 2016 Alarra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, francis
Lee the architect/builder gets embroiled in the complicated emotional and financial tangles of a racing family after the death of its patriarch. This one had really likeable characters scattered throughout - Lee and his laidback distant relative Dart and the Gardners and Lee's brood of boys - along with some absolutely loathsome ones.

There was a real sense of danger in the threat here and it made the book heart-in-mouth exciting at the denouement. Apart from all the interesting family dynamics,
...more
Kit
I liked Lee Morris quite a bit and was hoping he'd somehow get a happy ending out of this story, but I will grudgingly accept that it ended the best way it could. I suppose this is book that "ends the way it should", but it left me a little more dissatisfied than those types of endings usually do. Overall a pleasant read though. The characters were incredibly realistic and the progression of events was both believable and well-paced. This book is home to quite possibly the easiest to dislike ant ...more
Lynn Brewer
I loved the main character of this book. I always enjoy Dick Francis mysteries.
Mary Schneider
Jan 01, 2014 Mary Schneider rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dick Francis is in top form with his book Decider. I've loved his novels since high school. He's got a firm grasp of characterization and a way of drawing the reader in to a fast-paced story that has unexpected surprises at every turn.

Decider is the story of Lee Morris, an architect who gets pulled into the affairs of the Strattons, a well-to-do racing family. His mother was once married to Keith Stratton, an abusive, sadistic bully.

The internal stresses of the family, combined with a debt only
...more
John Marsh
Apr 23, 2015 John Marsh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: readreview
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nancy
Feb 09, 2014 Nancy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Probably a three-star book overall, but in comparison to the rest of the Francis novels I've read it's only two. There are several elements that are atypical: One, instead of being single and childless, Lee Morris is married and has a whole passel of children. And two, instead of getting up to his ears involved in the goings on Lee remains in the background. I mean, he's definitely involved but mostly in a passive way. More the idea man than the doer, mover and shaker. These things aren't bad by ...more
An Odd1
May 03, 2012 An Odd1 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: action, mystery, fan
"Decider" by Dick Francis is the unique small something like an old oak, that builder-architect Lee Morris determines whether one buys a ruined property, or his balance of eight shares in his late mother Madeline's previous husband violent Keith's Stratton family racetrack (unsure). I remember the narrator and father of six sons, one baby at home with Amanda, caught in an explosion because of Toby 12 hiding despite loudspeaker warning, saved by Neil 7 who discovered the detonation cord. Secretly ...more
Lorraine
Apr 15, 2011 Lorraine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lee Morris is an architect with six children. He takes the five oldest (all boys) on a vacation in their bus from Easter holidays. While away, he attends his first meeting of the Stratten Race Track stock holders, in which he has an 8% interest which he inherited from his mother. He finds the Strattens are a wealthy family who have paid to keep their many secrets hidden. There is a lot of dislike of him as he is an outsider. The family is also divided between closing down the track and selling t ...more
Skyring
Jan 28, 2011 Skyring rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don't often get families in a Dick Francis thriller, but this one is full of them. Contrast the six sons of the architect protagonist Lee Morris against the tangled ties of the Strattons, the dysfunctional family pa excellence.

Horses are involved, but in a peripheral fashion. There's more action in the building and demolition trade in this story.

Lee's six boys rampage through the narrative, playing pirates, munching through containerloads of fruitcake, getting into trouble, and generally having
...more
LJ
DECIDER - Ex
Francis, Dick - 32nd book

Lee Morris, 35, is an architect/builder specializing in restoring "ruins" like his own splendid barn house inhabited by his six sons and his lovely, but increasingly remote, wife. He is also one of few shareholders in Stratton Park racecourse, ownership of which is being hotly contested by the heirs of Lord Stratton. Lee's mother had married and quickly divorced the baron's vicious son Keith. Since part of her divorce settlement included the racecourse stock,
...more
Nina
Mar 29, 2014 Nina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I've been meaning to read a Dick Francis book for several decades. I had a page a day calendar that told me I was missing out if I didn't. Well, darn if that calendar wasn't correct. The book wasn't at all what I expected but I enjoyed it immensely. It's British drawing room mystery of the best kind. Crusty aristocracy and interesting details about both horse racing and architecture. A sympathetic protagonist and a neat ending. I've gone straight to the used book store and bought two more.
Linda
Mar 18, 2015 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Francis' 34th book all of them about horse racing somehow how does he keep it all fresh? Archi-tect/builder Lee Morris becomes involved against his will with the dysfunctional Stratton family who run the Stratton Park racecourse. (Morris' mother's first marriage was to a Stratton and she passed on her shares in the racecourse to Lee, her son by her second marriage.) The action takes place over Easter vacation when Lee and his five sons, on holiday in their converted bus camper, attend a race at ...more
Bruce
Apr 24, 2016 Bruce rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lee Morris is an architect who buys old buildings and converts/restores them. He is the owner of a small portion of a horse racing venue, by virtue of a his mothers disastrous marriage to one of the rich Strattons. When the patriarch Stratton dies, the horse racing venue ownership passes to the bickering, entitled Stratton family and Morris is sucked into their infighting and bickering. Actually a pretty decent book, interesting plot. No language.
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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
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“I waved back and went in, and began to sort my way through ancient building plans that had been rolled up so long that straightening them out was like six bouts with an octopus.” 1 likes
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