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4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  3,529 ratings  ·  88 reviews
Longtime jockey Philip Nore suspects that a racetrack photographer's fatal accident was really murder--and unravels some nasty secrets of corruption, blackmail, and murder.
Paperback, 304 pages
Published October 4th 2005 by Berkley (first published 1981)
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Proof by Dick FrancisTo the Hilt by Dick FrancisBreak In by Dick FrancisThe Danger by Dick FrancisBolt by Dick Francis
Dick Francis Mysteries
28th out of 39 books — 54 voters
The Virgin in the Ice by Ellis PetersA Great Deliverance by Elizabeth  GeorgeMonk's Hood by Ellis PetersThe Rose Rent by Ellis PetersDead Man's Ransom by Ellis Peters
Best Mysteries from the 1980s
50th out of 120 books — 13 voters

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Community Reviews

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I’ve been reading and re-reading the novels of Dick Francis since the early 1990’s and I’m hardly objective when it comes to judging their worth. I am aware that many critics consider him a ‘one trick pony’ who somehow stumbled over a succesful formula for writing murder mysteries set in and around the racing world, and then applied ‘rinse and repeat’ for about forty more novels written in the same manner, with the same type of characters and the same type of plot. Yet...more
I've said it before and here I am saying it again: nobody writes candy mysteries like Francis. His protagonists are likable, the villains appropriately dislikable, and you always learn something. The formula is simple and consistently adhered to, but the books are not the worse for it. This is a fine example of the form.

The formula is pretty simple. The genial and easygoing 30ish hero stumbles onto dark conspiracies in the racing world. He's beaten up, but bravely faces down the villains. He nar...more
An Odd1
"Reflex" by Dick Francis is a camera lens term, so add that to the standard jockey hero, whose natural passivity is activated by honest integrity, and asserts justice without officialdom. Narrator Philip Nore 30, was abandoned "just till Saturday" by his mother Caroline, dead from heroin addiction, to be raised by a series of friends. Samantha he tracks down. Charlie taught him photography and willed his equipment.

Helping injured rider Steve Millace with his crashed dead dad George's negatives...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...more
Reflex by Dick Fancis, what can I say, another great book by Dick. Miss you Dick. I am sure I read this years ago, but well worth a second read.

Jockey, Philip Nore has never known who his father was, and was dumped on different people all his life. He never attended school, and was taught by the different folks he was dumped on. His mother, was a butterfly on drugs, and he believed that she must have died sometimes in his teenage years. Left with Charlie and his partner, Philip had learned all a...more
Jul 22, 2009 Curtiss rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
One of my favorite Dick Francis stories.

There are two scenes that I particularly enjoyed: the first was when
Phillip Nore makes a gift of a candid photo of fellow amateur photographer George Millace to George's widow, and finds himself overwhelmed by her emotional reaction of joyful gratitude; the second is when he discovers the "Price" George had demanded from his blackmail victims.

Phillip then decides to demand the same price from George's killer.
Mar 19, 2014 ck rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Dick Francis & logic-puzzle fans; photographers
Shelves: favorites, fiction
I've been reading -- and appreciating -- the work of Dick Francis since high school. I read this story for the first time in college, when I was still shooting black and white and my default perfume was "eau de fixer." I loved puzzling out the mysteries then, and still enjoy revisiting this book every so often, even though I'm familiar with the story line. I do so in part because of the personal connection I suppose most anyone who worked with and loved making photographs back in the days of man...more
Not a bad story. What I have come to expect from Dick Francis. Only one comment.
I used to process Diazo film at work (yes I guessed immediately the film was Diazo) using ammonia, with the diazo film hanging in a sealed bell jar, but the images never appeared as quickly as the image did in the book. Also, there's NO WAY I would wave the ammonia around and stay in the same room, as happened in this story.
I would hang the film, lower the bell jar, take a deep breath and hold it, take the lid off th...more
Mar 21, 2012 Martina rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: mystery/thriller lovers
Shelves: crime, thriller
To my shame, I admit that I have heard of Dick Francis only recently. For such an acclaimed author, he is sadly untranslated in the world. However, having finally heard of him and his great writing opus, I became intrigued. Even though the world of horses, races and jockeys has never actually appealed to me, the glowing reviews of his novels induced me to give his work a try. Needless to say, I was impressed, and felt it was my duty to write a review and atone for having neglected Mr. Francis' w...more
Randee Baty
Life has changed for me enough lately that I can now participate in the book discussion groups at my public library. The book for October is Reflex by Dick Francis and I'm thrilled that it spurred me to a reread of this great mystery.

When I began reading mysteries (about 5th grade) I was fortunate that the first three authors I read were Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie and Dick Francis. These remain the standards by which all other mysteries I read are judged. Tough acts to follow!

In Ref...more
I'm not sure I know just why I enjoy Dick Francis books so much, yet I do. I love horses, but only from a distance and have never been to a horse race of any kind. On the other hand, I must confess to being an Anglophile, and a sucker for the kind of non-flamboyant hero that feature in all his novels. Throw in an intriguing and well-told mystery woven throughout the mix: for me, sheer reading pleasure!
It was ten years since I last read this book, and it was like meeting a loved friend after a long time. I felt completely comfortable and safe. It's great to read a suspense novel which has nothing gory or disturbing in it.
Dick Francis lived here on Cayman Island so I felt drawn to read at least one of his books. I was pleasantly surprised by the mystery and was drawn through to the end. A nice read.
Linda Woodard
I love the way Francis explores a topic and introduces you to it in his books. There are always horse, which is fine by me but in this one, I learned a lot about photography.
Probably one of my least favourite Dick Francis novels. Philip Nore is a bit put upon and a bit whiny in comparison with most of his other protagonists. Though he does have reason for the attitude, it still grates on my nerves reading his book.

The romance especially grates on my nerves, his attitude that getting into a relationship might fix his personal relationship problems really bothers me. I am also not overly fond of the case for this book, but that is also just a preference thing, more t...more
Varsha Seshan
Dick Francis taught me what the word 'steeplechase' meant. Until I read him, it was just another word associated with racing.
The stoicism of the jockeys, which Francis says is part of their philosophy to allow them to keep at it, is something I admire so much that I think that it's something I've learnt from his books.
This one, with its detailed research, taught me some more. It's rare for me to like a book because it teaches you something, but this one made me feel that familiar strength agai...more
Louise Armstrong
This is 1969 - and not one of his best, I think, although I like the idea of the younger man taking on the older man's role and mantle. The love story didn't quite ring true somehow.

It's hard to get across the notion that a first person narrator is a wonderful hero (you'd go right off someone who thought: 'I'm such a great person.) but DF gets around it by having other people tell the hero how marvellous he is - how tough, how clever, how attractive.

Works better than that immortal line found so...more
Lynda Muller
This has got to be my absolute, all-time favorite Dick Francis novel.
always enjoy his books
Marjorie Ihssen
Vintage Dick Francis - yum!
I always enjoy reading a good Dick Francis novel. Phillip Nore in this one is a really good character. They are pretty clean, the language isn't too bad, and not a lot of sex.... Sometimes I even reread the books, because it's like being with a friend you haven't seen in several years. I really enjoy the characters he uses, and also enjoy the series he writes about too. I'm not a gambler, but I really enjoy watching them live, as well as on screen. There is a certain excitement that I don't find...more
Jeff Crosby
For my sins, this is another book I'm currently re-reading. It is also Kindle and seems to have better formatting than some of the others. This was the first Francis novel I ever read--30 years ago. It's been fun to read because it's like visiting an old friend. I remember the story well enough to recognize elements as they unfold, but not enough to spoil the story. Back then I liked it enough to read another. Now I recognize it as typical Francis. It stands up well, and remains one of my favori...more
I would give it 4.5 stars if I could. Loved this one. Philip Nore is a jockey / photographer, so in addition to the usual horse language, there's a lot of photographic chemical discussion. I didn't really understand the color theory regarding light versus paint or photo development, but I enjoyed reading through it. Sometimes in murder mysteries the people just keep dropping like flies, and that didn't happen in this one, which I appreciated. The mysteries were really cool photographic puzzles.
Reflex is not my favorite Dick Francis, but it's still a fun read. There's lots of good information about photography and photographic puzzles in here, and a rather sweet story about an isolated man creating a new sense of family for himself while he solves the mysteries dumped on his doorstep. I was disappointed that one important thread was left hanging at the end, but I suppose we should trust the main character to fix that problem as his life continues after the book is finished!
Gerald Curtis
Some time ago a trusted friend recommended Dick Francis books to me, but I felt I would have no interest in horse racing stories. But when my wife read Reflex, and assured me that even though the story involved people in the horse racing business, the story was not about that, but just a very good mystery and human interest story, I decided to try it. I am so glad I did. It is well written, gripping and entertaining. I am looking forward to reading more of his books.
Sep 18, 2007 John rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People needing a relaxing, stimulating English mystery
Reflex is my 2nd or 3rd most favorite Dick Francis novel, my first being Straight. In Reflex, an aging jockey with a talent for photography becomes enmeshed in a blackmail scandal from which he may not recover his reputation or his life. Another attribute I may not have mentioned; Dick Francis writes characters with depth and believable motives. Even his blackest villains are not out and out stereotypes; there's reason for their cunning and method to their madness.
Philip Nore is a steeplechase jockey and an amateur photographer. George Millace is a professional photographer who had recently died in a car crash. His son is a fellow jockey, and gives Philip his father's batch of "mistakes". Philip discovers that the mistakes are really hidden photos and letters extorting money from people. Philip reveals what he had learned to a couple of people in the racing world and soon his own life is under threat.
Aug 09, 2013 Linden rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of horses, racing, photography and mysteries
Recommended to Linden by: Susie Brooke

Former jockey to the British Royal family, Dick Francis writes fast-moving mysteries centering on horses or steeple-chasing. Reflex follows jockey Philip Nore as he investigates the circumstances of a racetrack photographer's death. Was it an accident or murder?

On this third reading over the years since its 1981 publication, it still remains my favorite of all his work, with Break In as next best.

For middle school and up
Another good strong mystery in the Dick Francis line. I really enjoying the character development in the protagonist.
1 Jan 1998
19 Feb 1998
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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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“Most people think, when they're young, that they're going to the top of their chosen world, and that the climb up is only a formality. Without that faith, I suppose, they might never start. Somewhere on the way they lift their eyes to the summit and know they aren't going to reach it; and happiness then is looking down and enjoying the view they've got, not envying the one they haven't.” 44 likes
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