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Flying Finish

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  2,060 ratings  ·  58 reviews
Lord Henry Grey was an amateur jockey and pilot. But when he decided to abandon his desk-bound job for an active career in the bloodstock market, he found there was more to couriering valuable horses around the world than he'd ever suspected . . .
Meeting Gabriella in Italy is the first, most pleasurable surprise. But a colleague's disappearance on the next Milan trip gives
Paperback, 223 pages
Published 1968 by Pan Books (first published 1966)
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This is an enjoyable Francis novel simply because the character of Gabriella is one of the better Francis heroines. It also stands out because the character of Henry goes though a believable character change and arc. There are connections in his growth and behavior that Henry doesn’t see, but that the reader does. The point of the novel seems to be class, and there is a slight plot hole that a reader will wonder about. Readers should be warned, however, that this is one of the more violent Franc ...more
I just listened to the Chivers Audio version of this book, narrated by Tony Britton, for the umpteenth time. I love the fact that it was written in the mid-1960's. It is classic Dick Francis and exactly what I want in a stress-relieving book on tape.
A horse transport worker discovers that his company is not always on the up and up. This book takes place in Italy, having the main character falling in love as well.
Lots of death, exciting.
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
Sep 24, 2007 iamtedae rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of mystery/suspense
Shelves: favorites
Dick Francis, a little like Agatha Christie, must be a guilty pleasure. An author this prolific and popular must concede something of true quality, right? Well, perhaps. It's not great literature, but from what I remember from college work, great literature isn't exactly fun. What I say here can be said of everything I've come across in Francis's work.... an interesting, unusual, entertaining story with likable good guys, surprising bad guys, and interesting (and sometimes misleading) inbetween- ...more
Rachel Brown
Henry Gray is a lonely, buttoned down, slightly impoverished earl with a pilot's license, a chip on his shoulder about his ancestry, and a bad attitude in general. When his sister goes deservedly ballistic on him, he attempts to shake himself out of his rut by taking a job as a groom who escorts horses on international flights.

His life starts to change when he notices an odd pattern: grooms on flights between England and Italy tend to vanish in Italy. And then, on one flight, he meets an Italia
Despite the indication otherwise, I did not read the paperback. Instead I found a first edition hardback of this 1966 classic for $1 at a library sale, and the cover (a pegasus covered in a Union Jack) is amazing! Very excited to add this to my Dick Francis collection. Beyond that, the book is pretty typical of the early DF books: very engaging, very British, and just a little bit brutal. This one does veer from his other novels, however, by leaving the reader a little big hanging at the end.
Francis, Dick - 5th book

Lord Henry Grey was an amateur jockey and pilot. But when he decides to abandon his desk-bound job for an active career in the bloodstock market, he finds that there is more to couriering valuable horses around the world than he had ever suspected.

Interesting information about shipping horses and the dangers involved. Great character, excellent suspense.
Joe Santoro
I've only read a couple of them, but it amazes me every time that the author manages to tell good stories with engaging characters EVERY time in such a narrow scope. Even more amazing is that he creates a pile of new characters for every novel. Sure, the protagonist/narrator is a bit of a Marty Stu, but still, the books are always a fun read.

Flying Finish was no exception, dealing with a shipper of horses whose employees were mysteriously disappearing. The main character was an Earl who was an
My favorite author of all time!!!!! I am pretty sure that I have read all of his books. He writes mystery and it always includes horse racing in some way. This is my favorite one!!!!!! Even if you know nothing about racing or horses Dick Francis can draw you in and hold your interest. Fabulous characterization and storytelling.
Ends too abruptly without tying up loose ends, but good. Henry Grey is not the superhuman of Dick Francis' usual male protoganists.
This is a different type of book from the other Dick Francis books I've read. It's more of a suspense novel than a mystery.
Henry Grey has a desk job working for a company involved with arranging transport of horses. Unsatisfied with the job, he takes an opportunity to be the head groomsman with Yardman Transport, the transport company they most frequently work with. Given his title of Earl, people tell him the job is beneath him but Henry is just looking for a job where he can be satisfied and feel fulfilled. He enjoys it, except for some of the people he is working with, most noteably Billy who seems determined to ...more
Flying Finish is an aptly named mystery by Dick Francis. Published in 1966, I picked this one out for the Birth Year Challenge: Time Machine Version. I've read a couple of other Dick Francis books in the past, but I can't say that his mysteries really stick with me. This one will probably wind up going straight out my memory as well. It's a decently told story with a fairly interesting main character. But I can't say that Francis has ever sold me on his horse racing stories. I think perhaps if t ...more
I love the horse racing bits of Dick Francis novels and this was short on that. I was horrifically bored with the aircraft flying jargon that went on for far too long at regular intervals. In fact the ending could have been so considerably improved if the entire trip had been cut down to 20 words and a more satisfactory ending had been written. Also, I was annoyed with the love at first sight, didn't want to talk, just have sex, must be true love portrayal. It would have ended in divorce.
Dillwynia Peter
A friend destashed a load of books forever ago for me to read & pass on; this was one of them.

This is my 1st Dick Francis book & I think I will read another. I have a soft spot for 40s-60s suspense: the most sex you get is the hero kissing the girl; the most violence are guns, where people just fall down and lie dead, just like cartoon figures. I love their innocence and naivity and wish we had a little more in current fiction. Viseral realism can be exhausting.

And with Francis - there i
Dick Francis usually writes a brand new character for every one of his mysteries, and this one in particular I found rather compelling. Like many of Dick Francis' protagonists, The main character isn't very aware of his own abilities, appeal, and strengths. He knows himself as suppressed and mild, drifting, introverted and socially awkward. The way he describes himself spoke a lot to me....except in my case, I rather lack the nerves of steel and cold willpower that he eventually exhibits in the ...more
Henry Grey is the son of an Earl, but the money is mostly gone. Henry wants nothing to do with a title, and works to make his own living. He rides steeplechase as a amateur, and takes a job transporting horses that have been sold via air. When he figures out the they are not only transporting horses he knows his life is in danger. No language, decent plot.
Henry Grey is an amateur jockey, a certified small plane pilot and an Earl-in-Waiting. He despises his class status and takes a low paying job as a head groom with a service which transports race horses by air between London and New York and cities in Europe. He learns that two head grooms ahead of him have disappeared after overseas flights, and when his father suddenly dies, he is replaced on a flight to Italy by his friend Simon, who works in the office of the transport company. When Simon al ...more
Nancy Schober
Dude! You finished before I was done...reading! Other than the rather abrupt end this was quite the roller-coaster read. Dripping with machismo -this story is a fly on the wall view of what males are like around each other, I suppose
Published in 1966 but still fascinating if you are interested in the import and export of racehorses plus the thrill of flying both small and large aircraft. A lot has changed in transport but horses (including pregnant mares) haven't changed that much. They still need careful handling and constant attention on flights, I should think, but maybe microchip technology has removed some of the fraud. I thoroughly enjoyed this Dick Francis thriller, which has a strong plot and some good twists. The e ...more
Kate  K. F.
Flying Finish is one of Francis' odder books as the main character is the son of an Earl who seems to be drifting through life. At the beginning of the book, he takes a job helping to transport horses by plane which no one who knows him can understand. During this job he learns about a smuggling ring and falls in love before being pulled into an incredibly dangerous situation. As this is an older book of Francis', some of the language used can be harsh in terms of class and race perspectives. Th ...more
Sean Brennan
The poorest Francis I have read thus far! Far too many loopholes in the story, and a quite unbelievable main character.
Continuing my re-discovery of Dick Francis and his narrator, Tony Britton, I enjoyed this a lot.
Of course, I "really like" all Dick Francis, even the very old ones [1975].
Not his best, but a decent mystery I s'pose.
[7 / 10] I'm a big fan of the author, and this book is in line with his usual output, a little too much so. There's the usual quiet, but secretly strong hero, getting mixed up with crooks and finding love along the way, also having his ass kicked by the bad guys but getting the better of them through sheer perseverance and endurance. Mr Francis hit on a winning formula and this book is a simple permutation of the successful elements deployed in the previous books. I just felt there's not enough ...more
I had a hard time getting into this book for probably the first 100 pages. Then there were some nights that I couldn't put the book down, and some nights that I couldn't keep myself awake. I have some other Dick Francis books that I was going to read, but I think that I will take a break for a little while and read something else. Some parts I found a little difficult to understand because 1. I don't live in England, 2. I don't ride horses and 3. I don't fly airplanes. Other than those parts it ...more
Feb 19, 2015 Jill marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teacher
Dad second favorite
Dad introduced me to Dick Francis. He is easily readable, and I've finished all of his books that I've read. He writes fiction that is normally based around a horse-racing theme. Francis writes mystery novels. I have a few more of Dad's old Francis books to read, then I'll be done reading them. I really don't get into reading fiction authors who write the same kinds of books their whole lives. That's why I don't read John Grisham and Tom Clancy anymore.
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Dick Francis CBE (born Richard Stanley Francis) was a popular British horse racing crime writer and retired jockey.

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