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Come to Grief
Dick Francis
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Come to Grief (Sid Halley #3)

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  3,011 ratings  ·  111 reviews
Everyone "comes to grief", mourns many lost lives, friendships, loyalties in this troubling sad novel where we know the perpetrator from the start. Laughing, lovable ex-jockey Ellis Quint has everything he could want: fame, youth, money, good looks, talent, parents and public that believe his innocence. Jockey turned detective Sid Halley has to figure out is why his longti ...more
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Published May 28th 1996 by Books on Tape (first published 1995)
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An Odd1
"Come to Grief" by Dick Francis describes the final result - everyone mourns many lost lives, friendships, loyalties. "I had this friend, you see, that everyone loved." I thought narrator Sid was starting with his previous case, but no, the friend and connected relationships - parents, social group, public - are the current problems. We wait pages for friend Lochinvar's real name, and others breaking down - mother Ginnie's suicides, father Gordon tries to murder Sid - only the last pages answer ...more
Continuing my self-challenge to read all the Edgar Award winners for Best Novel, I’ve come to 1996’s winner, Dick Francis’s Come to Grief. I’m sure it will make my 10 Best list for 2009.

It seems odd to me that Dick Francis, who normally sticks to standalones, has won two of his three Edgars for Best Novel with books in his all-too-brief Sid Halley series. Come to Grief is the last of them, an unusually-structured book which, while losing none of the suspense Francis excels at, also adds new dept
This was truly a trashy mystery novel. The worst part was, it wasn't even entertaining. The crime was absurd- cutting off a horse's leg- and Francis tries to make you care about it by throwing in a sappy story about a little girl with leukemia. The plot is just poorly put together and equally strange, and you're asked to just take for granted that the criminals are crazy and not question their motivations beyond that. The detective has a prosthetic hand and is supposedly famous yet he's always d ...more

It seems odd to me that Dick Francis, who normally sticks to standalones, has won two of his three Edgars for Best Novel with books in his all-too-brief Sid Halley series. Come to Grief is the last of them, an unusually-structured book which, while losing none of the suspense Francis excels at, also adds new depth to the character of steeplechase-jockey-turned-private-eye Halley.

I would have loved this novel to be longer. I would have adored there to be much more Sid Halley novels. There are not
This is a more emotional book than Dick Francis usually writes, or that Sid Halley usually wanders his way into. He's getting used to his myoelectric hand, and the fact of his divorce from Jenny...but what's really awful is that one of his former friends (jockey-turned-newscaster) is a villain. Usually, Francis shows the dark side of a stranger via play-by-play action and insights gleaned when said smooth-faced villains are under urgent pressure to escape detection. This time, it's the sickening ...more
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
A re-read though not within the last year. Come to Grief is an excellent exercise book with the typical Dick Francis hero, stoic, ethical, and willing to take risks. Former jockey Sid Halley has lost his left hand in a riding accident and can therefore no longer race. Instead he has become a private investigator. The case he investigates in this book is one that he himself has brought against his best friend and former riding competitor, Ellis Quint, now a talk show host and darling of the natio ...more
This book brings the return of narrator Sid Halley (Odds Against; Whip Hand) as the one-handed PI and ex-jockey takes on a case of multiple mutilations of thoroughbreds; unnervingly, the amputation of the animals' front left hooves mirrors Sid's own injury. The investigator soon realizes that the man behind the crimes is his old friend Ellis Quint, ex-gentleman jockey and now a beloved TV host. Sick at heart, Sid builds a strong case; but, when Quint is charged, British law bars any public discu ...more
Mark Ching
Fantastic entry from Dick Francis. I finished it in less than 24 hours.


What I like about this book is that it has a lot of heart: protagonist Sid Halley tries to solve the mystery for a kid with leukemia. The antagonist is his best friend. He is also in constant battle with his own fears and frustrations. He finds hope in a delinquent, whom he tests to be an assistant. Even the conclusion is full of heart--it may be tear-jerking for some.

I also like the attention to little det
Greer Andjanetta
Dick Francis is one of a select group of writers who (for me) can always be depended upon to write an interesting story. (Nevil Shute and Stuart Woods are two others who would be in my best 5 authors list). Here, ex-jockey and now PI Sid Halley is put on the hunt for someone who is maiming horses in the English countryside and his discovery proves unpleasant. Very readable as always from DF.
Sue Hieber
good read. a mystery wrapped in political blankets. the story of a man who will not be bent from the pressures brought to bear. tragedy, loss,and grief are only a part of what he must bear in his pursuit of the truth. he is nicknamed,"tungsten steel" for a reason. i would have given it 5 stars, but i wish the ending could have done a little more to vindicate the hero.
There's too much "ickyness" in this novel for me to give it a 5--too many terrible injuries to innocent horses as the result of a psychotic villain, and his doting parents. When the hero, Sid Halley (as close to a series' character as Francis ever gets) accuses his friend and fellow former jockey, Ellis, of committing these terrible acts, Sid's reputation and life are suddenly not worth "spit." He fights the media, the police force, the judicial system, the peerage memebers who are Ellis' family ...more
Dick Francis is still the only author to have ever won three Edgar awards for mystery novels, and this is the book that won him his third award. This is also the third of his four books using ex-jockey Sid Halley as his main character. This and Whip Hand have got to be my two favorite Francis books -- there is lots of Francis' patented spare prose, and lots of well-hidden internal conflict from Sid. There are also lots of complications and side-issues in the plot, mostly dealing either directly ...more
This is a nasty book about horrible abuse of animals. It made me seriously question whether Francis really liked horses that much. This also caused copycat crime in the UK.
If you love horses avoid this one.
Also it has too many pithy sentences that lose their impact.
Wish you could give no stars.
This is a book that is possibly a bit more than the mayhem and violence that is usually engendered by crime..the theme is really betrayal and disillusionment between friends and indeed an entire social circle, and as usual the public mistakes the good guy for the baddie. It's also about strength of character and expedience and the choices one is forced to make between good and evil.
Sid Halley an ex-jockey turned investigator discovers to his growing horror that one of his closest friends is guil
While different in style from his others, this is one of the best novels Dick Francis ever wrote. Winner of the Edgar Award, this novel is quite the page-turner, but is much more dark in style. Sid Halley makes another appearance in this book, and is in the middle of the fall out from his discovering that a famous former jockey and now TV personality is guilty of maiming horses. This coupled with the fact that one of the maimed horses is a pony owned by a young girl with leukemia and that the TV ...more
Lea Anne
I really enjoy Dick Francis' Sid Halley series. This time Sid has to prove that a good friend of his is maiming horses and his reputation comes under fire. The writing, as usual, is excellent and just when you think Sid is going to lose the most precious thing to him, he doesn't, thank goodness.
I can't warm to Dick Francis. I have read several now and always fell that the stories are written for a child. The story itself is lame, the hero is flat and the ending is very unsatisfactory. I would only recommend the book to Francis fans. Would give it 1.5 stars if possible.
Sid investigates several incidents where a horse had its fore-leg cut off. His suspect is a famous friend, and when he turns him in, the backlash is vicious. Good book - I enjoy the Sid Halley character. Minor language.
Dick Francis's story about former jockey Sid Halley turned private investigator was interesting from beginning to end. While investigating a crime, Sid finds all the evidence pointing to his best friend, a popular tv personality. The story deals well with how Sid handles the whole situation, remaining the ethical guy that he is while dealing with the anger of the public and the press.

That the story took place in the horse racing world in England was different than many of the usual police/detec
Theresa Fears

The formatting was crazy bad with misspellings and random punctuation. I will not bother with that publisher again. Would rather pay for a used book than pay for sloppy work.
15 Dec 2000

I actually like that Francis had his formula down but didn't reprise characters, however Sid is an exception. I was always happy to see Sid again.
Very enjoyable detective story. Original in character and story but still a tiny bit reminiscent of classic Chandler type adventures.
Jess Schira
Not quite as good as Whip Hand, and I was disturbed by the heinous nature of the crime, but still a great book
Francis, Dick - 34th book / 3rd Sid Halley

When ex-jockey Sid Halley becomes convinced that one of his closest friends—and one of the racing world's most beloved figures—is behind a series of shockingly violent acts, he faces the most troubling case of his career. No one wants to believe that Ellis Quint could be guilty—so the public and the press are turning their wrath against Halley instead. Now he's facing opposition at every turn—and finding danger lies straight ahead…

Not a
Robert Laviano
Great book. One of Francis's best but still a beach novel. Ellis was a real sicko maiming ponys.
Patricia Williams
Third Syd Halley. Not the final, I think there is one more but haven't read it yet.
Dewayne Stark
First read of Francis. Lots of gore and very unusual bad things happen.
Dick Francis is one of the masters of character driven mysteries. He's an ex-jockey--at one time, he wore the Queen's colors--turned mystery writer. All of his books take place in the world of horse racing. Sometimes the background doesn't necessarily fit as well as others. But you don't have to know a thing about horse racing to enjoy the books. My favorites are the Sid Halley novels about an ex-jockey who lost his hand and turns to being a private investigator. This is the best of the lot. The ...more
Frank R.
Too much english - hard to resd.
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Dick Francis CBE (born Richard Stanley Francis) was a popular British horse racing crime writer and retired jockey.

* Sid Halley Mystery
* Kit Fielding Mystery
More about Dick Francis...

Other Books in the Series

Sid Halley (5 books)
  • Odds Against (Sid Halley, #1)
  • Whip Hand (Sid Halley, #2)
  • Under Orders (Sid Halley, #4)
  • Dick Francis's Refusal (Sid Halley, #5)
To the Hilt Dead Heat Whip Hand (Sid Halley, #2) Proof Bolt (Kit Fielding, #2)

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