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3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  3,451 Ratings  ·  143 Reviews
Injured steeplechase jockey Derek Franklin must recover $1.5 million worth of missing diamonds and find out who wanted his brother dead-or else his career won't be the only thing in danger of being cut short.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 28th 2003 by Jove (first published January 1st 1989)
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Community Reviews

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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
One of the better Dick Francis novels I have read. A little less horseracing and a little more 'James Bondish' crime fiction in this one. The characters were interesting and I enjoyed the gadgets, the intrigue, the suspense and the conclusion.
Michael McLean
Feb 18, 2011 Michael McLean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm really digging these Dick Francis mystery books. Granted, they are easy reading and not the deepest literature but they are well crafted and really give this anglophile a great sense of atmosphere and plot. Two down and 38 to go.
Mary Taitt
Feb 09, 2015 Mary Taitt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mary by: ML TAITT
This book sucked me in immediately and moved along a good pace and was interesting. An injured jockey gets a call that his brother in the hospital--he's dead, his wallet is missing, he was killed in an accident and you know it wasn't an accident, even though it looks like one. And the plot thickens. The brother was secretly dealing with diamonds and having an affair with a Duchess. The brother owned two race horses and something fishy is going on with the horses. The jockey is no dummy and track ...more
Sep 19, 2016 Thekelburrows rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well-executed story that fits nicely beside its peers in the Mystery genre featuring plenty of wit, Britishness, and horses.
Feb 11, 2008 Stacey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the entire story line even with one eye rolling moment. Still definitely a 5 star book!
Nov 11, 2016 stevekeiretsu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
About 20 years ago I went through a phase of reading lots of Dick Francis. Despite having little-to-no interest in horse racing, I remember enjoying them a great deal, as pacy, propulsive thrillers, and coming back to him thanks to finding this book at a local community book exchange, I discovered this assessment remains true.

Although very much a 'genre' writer, who would not win plaudits for fancy prose or abstract sophistication of language, Francis is clearly an extremely talented writer. Gre
I began reading Dick Francis books at 8 or 9 years old and I haven't stopped rereading them yet. My parents were big fans of his and I got to read the books after they were done. I still remember getting into trouble and 5th grade for reading '10LB Penalty' in class.

This is one of my favorite Francis, Mark I books. In most of his books the main character is a stoic British man in its early to mid thirties but in Straight the protagonist, Derek Franklin, is more complex than that. Yes, he is a 30
Nov 05, 2016 Sue rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, england
Jockey Derek Franklin is recovering from a steeplechase injury when he receives word that his brother is in the hospital and not expected to survive. Greville Franklin dies from his injuries – the result of being too close to scaffolding when it collapsed – and Derek learns that he has inherited Greville’s entire estate, including his gemstone business. Greville was extremely secretive and Derek has a battle on his hands to sort out the business. Although Greville’s employees assert that the bu ...more
Doreen Richards
Mar 14, 2017 Doreen Richards rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Have always enjoyed the Dick Francis books and this is no exception. Got to learn as well a little bit about the semi precious and precious gems as well as tidbits in the racing world. Fast moving. Loved the gadgets.
Pat Russo
Jan 19, 2017 Pat Russo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This is one of my favorite Dick Francis books ... a compelling read from beginning to end. A true must read!
Feb 08, 2017 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good old Dick, always reliable for an enjoyable read, and i learnt a little about the diamond trade. Never know when that might come in handy...
Les Reynolds
Decently entertaining
Jan 11, 2013 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Not a murder mystery this time. Quoting from one of the paperback editions: "Derek Franklin, injured steeplechase jockey, ... is thrust into chaos following the accidental death of his brother Greville who was an importer of semi-precious stones." Chaos is right. Derek, stumbling around on crutches, has to untangle several intrigues and riddles from his brother's life while person(s) unknown ransack everything and rough him up a lot. Poor guy!

I enjoy that we come to know Greville as a character,
Nov 06, 2012 Martina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, crime
This novel was... *dramatic sigh* A bit underwhelming, I suppose. The premise is interesting - a steeplechase jockey, Derek Franklin, ends up inheriting everything from his much older and rather estranged late brother. That everything being his late brother's firm, house, car, horses... So it's like Derek has fallen from some remote celestial body. He knows absolutely nothing about gemology, running a firm, having employees, could have serious difficulties as jockey are not allowed to own racing ...more
Mar 20, 2011 Lorraine rated it liked it
Derrick Franklin is a jump jockey. After a fall during a race, another horse lands on his left ankle, breaking the joint. Derrick refuses a cast as it would wither his muscles, and has his leg tightly wrapped in a bandage. Two days later he is summoned to hospital where his brother Greville is dying after a piece of scaffolding impaled him in the belly. Greville is twenty years Derrick senior, and they didn't know each other well. After Greville dies, Derrick learns Greville has willed him his h ...more
Jan 26, 2013 Clarkhou rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery, thriller
This book is about a man named Derek Franklin. The book starts off with an event that eventually traumatized Derek for the rest of his jockeying career, and just after, his brother; Greville mysteriously dies in an accident. Now Derek must inherit all his brother's fortunes and pay a mysterious bill of one and a half million dollars that his brother borrowed to buy diamonds... However, with no luck finding the diamonds, Derek is loosing hope, but the plot gets thicker, a horse named 'Dozen Roses ...more
Jan 10, 2016 Alarra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, francis
When his brother - friendly but not close - dies, Derek inherits his jewellery trading company, along with the employees, a secret mistress, and a possible crime (involving horses, but of course!). Also, they seem to have misplaced 1.5 million dollars worth of diamonds that don't supposedly trade in. And yet, though Derek has no clue about the jewellery business nor of the technical gadgets his brother was so fond of, manages to be excellent at negotiating both to solve all the crimes with just ...more
Rose Mary Griffith
Timelessly well done story of brothers and much more

Although published in 1989, this book is a timeless story of brotherhood, love and good vs. bad. Francis' characters are always compelling--I want to have coffee with them. Derek Franklin is no exception. His perseverance through the loss of his much older brother, a riding accident that temporarily halts his jockey career and being launched into running his brother's business could be enough to devastate someone. But he soldiers on and takes r
Linda Barnett
Jan 02, 2016 Linda Barnett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Dick Francis and Straight is an excellent read. It was a book that he wrote after neither his publisher, nor his fans, would stand for anything out of the realm of horse racing so he began writing thrillers where a member of the racing world was drawn into another unrelated "world", in this case that of his deceased brother, the gem industry, which provides the backbone of the story with a side helping of horse racing.

As a long time fan I would be more than content with just racing based
Oct 27, 2008 Beth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Derek Franklin inherits his brother's business, his brother's mistress, and his brother's problems when Greville is killed in a freak accident. From the start, Derek is targeted by why and by whom is not so clear. Despite (or perhaps because he's on crutches from a racing fall)he's attacked as he leaves the hospital with his brother's possessions. When he arrives at Greville's office, Derek finds it has been ransacked. Someone is looking for something and Derek soon finds out that it must be a m ...more
Jun 08, 2011 Mrsgaskell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british, 8-star
Derek Franklin is recuperating from a riding accident when his brother Greville dies unexpectedly. He is the sole heir and soon must turn his mind to learning about the semi-precious stone trade, not to mention seeking some diamonds which his brother appears to have hidden. His brother was nineteen years his senior and they knew each other only slightly so he has much to learn about his life. Greville Franklin was one for gadgets and puzzles and Derek is not the only one trying to figure things ...more
Aug 14, 2010 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, bookclub
The story of Derek Franklin, a steeplechase Jockey in England, whose brother died in an unexpected accident, leaving him all he owned. As Derek tries to sort through his brother's afairs, he stumbles upon some mysteries with diamonds and with his brother's racehorses - all the while with someone out to get him.

Although I really did like the main character in the book, and the story was interesting, it was so slow that I never felt hooked. It was only toward the end where I felt that I wanted to
Feb 12, 2013 Abra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a quick reread. I've read tons and tons and tons of Dick Francis books, even though he only writes one stiff-upper-lip jockey or somehow-horse-related character, whose name and physical description change, and whose connection to horses changes from story to story. But there are certain of his horse-related mysteries that I read and reread. This is one. I like the details of the jewelry business, and the idea of inheritance, and the family alienation. It's got Francis's typical conserva ...more
Luke West
Jul 28, 2012 Luke West rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With orders from my Mother to read a Dick Francis book I went looking for one on my kindle, the only non audio book I could find was Straight, I am very glad I did find it. The story is about a man named Derek who has an accident whilst steeple chasing on his horse. When he gets out of hospitable he is informed that his brother, who is a lot older than him so he only got to know him for a short while, is in a critical condition. His brother dies leaving only one will " all my belongings are to g ...more
Francis, Dick - 28th book

When Derek Franklin, a steeplechase jockey nursing a shattered ankle from a bad spill, learns of the death of his older, long-estranged brother Greville, he's stunned to find himself named as both executor of the will and sole heir. But in rapid succession, Derek is mugged, his brother's gemology firm is robbed, and Derek himself is assaulted in another robbery attempt; understandably, he comes to suspect that Greville's death may not have been an accident.

Aug 11, 2012 Tom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my real first stab at a Dick Francis novel. I recall picking one up like 25 years ago or so and not really getting into it. But I have to say, I'm glad I gave him a second chance. This is a fast-paced, somewhat quirky novel that's set in the world of horse racing. Didn't know what role horses would play and I was worried I would need more knowledge about that world. But it's just set there without too many expectations on the reader. The plot twists are fun, and there's nothing too heav ...more
May 17, 2012 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jan 14
I had a real hankering to read this again and I did enjoy it as much as the first 5 times I read it!

I have been reading Dick Francis books since I was about 14 and my mum owns them all and I've read all of them several times. They seem a bit dated and not quite as good anymore, but they've been part of my life for a long time. As always with Dick Francis the research is really impressive - in this case all about the gem trade (excellent) and gadgets (from the 80's of course). It was alway
Jul 24, 2011 Contrarius rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Straight is an especially intense, complex, and atmospheric entry in the Francis series. The book drops you "straight" into tragedy, and it never really lets up from there. Multiple villains are out to get our hero -- and he gets bashed, crushed, squashed, mauled, and generally folded-spindled-and-mutilated in the course of figuring out who did what to whom. In the meantime Francis teaches us about the gemstone trade, the electronic gadgets current at that time, and several twisty puzzles left b ...more
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Straight 5 19 Mar 10, 2013 10:34AM  
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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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“Life has a way of kicking one along like a football, or so I've found. Fate had never dealt me personally a particularly easy time, but that was OK, that was normal. Most people, it seemed to me, took their turn to be football. Most survived. Some didn't.” 10 likes
“May I deal with honour
May I act with courage
May I achieve humility”
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