An Odd1's Reviews > Decider

Decider by Dick Francis
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's review
Apr 09, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: action, mystery, fan
Read from April 09 to May 03, 2012

"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 grateful to kind old former grandfather-in-law Lord William who regretted his son's abuse and paid for Lee's lengthy education, Lee befriends grande dame Mrs Marjorie Binsham, William's sister, the great-sunt who blackmails the others in line. Lee calls pal Henry, provider of big top tents, to save the Easter weekend holiday crowd, and school pal Cartaret for diaries recording misdeeds of older student haughty Wilson Yarrow with complicated involvement.

Demonstrators block the entrance, and someone burns down the fence. Mysterious Perdita Faulds has seven shares and a lovely slim blonde daughter Amanda lookalike Penelope. Francis does admirable old ladies better than young ones. I remembered one blackmail secret, but not all, and forgot the shocker ending: justice for the villain, not good for the hero (spoiler: another son and affair for his wife). My favorite memory of this book is the happy relationship between the children and their father. He is a good parent (admittedly from his viewpoint, but clever authors leak truth).

I'll give 5* for the slight formula departure: functional family, non-jockey hero, and villain served justly -- still represents many Francis novels that play out in three dimensions -- elicit fear, hope, and seldom disappoint. I care not a whit for horses, riding, racing, gambling. I do root for his noble damaged heroes fighting for truth and justice with brain and brawn.

• Last time I wasn't a fan of the beautiful game, so I would have ignored "soccer" rather than proper UK "football", differentiated in this American edition p201, 218, 273.
• Barberini Codex is real, who knows about Darlington's bald cure. I hoped Dart would meet a girl and forget hair.

Spoiler: getting beat up, blown up, shot at, almost burned ... thriller I should not have read before bed.

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Reading Progress

100.0% "Another I read before, but I like how he is a good father to 5 sons in hand."

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