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Dick Francis's Gamble

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  2,835 ratings  ·  341 reviews
Felix Francis co-wrote several horse racing mysteries with his late father Dick Francis before the legendary author passed away in 2010. Taking up the reins for his first solo effort, Felix delivers a captivating tale that franchise fans will thoroughly enjoy. Former jockey Nicholas “Foxy” Foxton is at the track one day when he witnesses the execution-style killing of his ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published July 26th 2011 by G.P. Putnam's Sons
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3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,835 ratings  ·  341 reviews

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Aug 09, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, read-in-2011
As many of his fans know, Dick Francis passed away in February 2010. He was a force in mystery novels all set in some way in the English horse riding community publishing one novel a year until his wife's death in 2000. She helped him research his novels. In his obituary, the New York Times reported that Dick Francis thought he would never write another book again, but in 2006 he came out with a new Sid Halley novel, in which his son Felix Francis helped with the research. Thereafter Dick and Fe ...more
Feb 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Vintage Francis fans - this one belongs!
Shelves: mystery
Read a while ago.

What I long to return to, time and again, that "Dick Francis fix", is above all, apart from the horses, the profound integrity of the reluctant hero; reading these books, I feel somehow clean, and encouraged to strive for such clarity within myself. This is something else than the author taking the moral high ground, I can't quite put my finger on it right now. In any case, Felix Francis does not disappoint.

Felix Francis hits his stride as a solo author while expertly channelin
May 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Gamble is the latest Dick Francis novel and the first solo novel by Felix Francis. Nick Foxton once won the Grand National, but a terrible accident cut his racing career short. Years later, he is returning to Aintree - as a spectator - when he once more finds himself the centre of attention. Minutes before the big race, Nick's colleague, financial adviser Herb Kovak, is shot dead and the gunman vanishes into the crowd. The police want answers but Nick can't explain why anyone would want Herb dea ...more
Mar 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did read the Dick Francis books faithfully and have a rather large stack of paperbacks stashed somewhere. I admit to not liking his son's writing to the same degree, but thought I would try one for old time's sake. This has a former jockey working as a financial advisor and he finds himself in the spotlight without asking for it. Wrong place, wrong time, wrong friends, wrong associates. The vice is gambling but not his and he is lucky to escape.
Felix is still not as good a writer as his father, although his plot and action scenes are well done. It’s his development of admirable characters and relationships that I find lacking. He is getting better at it, but he hasn’t got the heart of his father. There are very few characters I like in the book.

I did like how the title of the book was woven into the story. Nicholas Foxton gambled with his life as a jump jockey every day, but when he had a bad fall and broke the vertebrae of his neck, t
I discovered the Dick Francis novels sometime in the 1960's and gave them as Fathers Day and Christmas presents to my grandfather and stepfather while collecting them for myself.

When I lost all my books in a house fire the Dick Francis thrillers were amongst the first books that I hunted down to refill my bookshelves. They are the old friends that I turn to when unwell or lonely so I am delighted that Felix Francis is continuing the work of his father and mother.

I bought this book at Borders, Ri
Gail Morris
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
awesome tale of who done it! and quite a few close calls with death for the main character.
Sep 13, 2011 rated it really liked it

Felix Francis has now picked up the writing mantle of his father and his mother. Apparently, as his mother assisted his father in writing the novels, Felix assisted his father after his mother’s death. GAMBLE is the first book that bears only Felix’s name.

I am pretty certain that I have read all the mysteries that Dick Francis and family have written. The books have likable heroes who have a connection to horse racing in some capacity or another. That gives the authors the opportunity to create
Dec 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I miss Dick Francis. I have been a fan of his for a long time. Yes, he essentially writes the same hero over and over again, although he usually gives the guy a different name and occupation in each book. Yes, his mysteries have a sameness to them-- at some point in the book, the hero is going to be unjustly accused of something. Either the hero or his love interest is going to have some kind of infirmity or disability. The hero will come from a flawed family and in some way, shape or form, the ...more
Jane Debano
Oct 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Dick Francis, former steeplechase jockey turned thriller writer, has always been one of my favorite reads. I started devouring his books in the ‘60s and have read everyone since then (43 in all) and own most of them. They are like old friends, whom I visit from time to time. I was stricken by his death in 2010 but glad to know that his son Felix, who had collaborated with him on his last four books, was taking up the reins (or PC) to continue his father’s legacy. You know a Francis hero will be ...more
An Odd1
Feb 04, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Murder mystery mixes with boring lessons, such as well-known (unsolved) public assassinations. When ex-jockey Foxy yearns, despite broken neck, to be back in the saddle for hundreds of pages, fair bet he'll get there before the end. I probably read this before, because twists were not surprises.

Financial advisor Nicholas Foxton stands next to colleague from U.S. for 5 years, extravagant well-liked non-gambler Herb Kovak, at Grand National Race, when assassin suddenly shoots Kovak dead. Nick, he
Jerry B
Aug 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
We had a hunch that the first solo effort by son Felix to write a “Dick Francis” novel would turn out OK, given that undoubtedly he bore the lion’s share of the work on the last several official collaborations with his dad. And like the whole world, we could hardly wait to see if “Gamble” would hold up to the unusual scrutiny so often applied to the next book in a series not written by the original author. To us, it’s a very commendable job!

A retired jockey, Nick Foxton, now a financial advisor
David Evans
Oct 25, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers
Listened to the audio book version which had me hooked for a week while running and driving. I hadn't read any Dick Francis for years and was always a little sceptical of likelihood of former jockeys turning detective. When an injured former jockey and financial adviser Nick Foxton's work colleague is shot dead next to him at The Grand National race meeting, a series of events follow that ensure that Nick becomes the next target of the assassin. While sometimes straying into absurdity and contai ...more
Aug 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All Dick Francis fans
Shelves: mystery, horses, read-2011
This is a wonderful read. I am ecstatic that this is so good - the pacing, the protagonist's inner reflection, the plot twists - all were vintage Dick Francis. Some of the choppiness in the co-authored books has smoothed out a lot.

Some criticisms: Too much foreshadowing. We know that calm and serene isn't going to last long. :) And it seems that Felix was a little heavy-handed with the current news events sprinkled in (to make sure we knew the book was written recently and not 5 years ago? I gue
Aug 17, 2011 rated it liked it
This is definitely in the mold of a typical Dick Francis book, but something isn't quite right for me. Felix Francis has the plot structure right and even the conversations are similar to those his father wrote. Maybe there is one thing that I can identify. Like the protagonists in Dick's books, Felix's protagonist here is uncharacteristically daring and smarter than the police. However, it seems that he's MUCH smarter than the police. Some things are over-the-top unrealistic for me. The police ...more
Rachel Amphlett
Sep 28, 2013 rated it liked it
I'd been waiting a long time to read Gamble, Felix Francis's first outing as a solo author, and I'm glad I finally got the chance recently.

It's no mean feat to step out from under the shadow of another successful author, let alone when that author was your father, but Felix has ensured with Gamble (and his other books) that he owns the genre in his own right.

Maintaining the trademark elements of horseracing and skulduggery, Felix adds his own twist and thoroughly modernises this style of thrille
Nov 03, 2011 rated it it was ok
It's the same problem with any author who has been prolific, then dies. The gravy train stops here. Some family member tries to carry on, and it's never the same. I dread Robert Parker's family doing this (and indications are they will be.) Let the good writing stand as a tribute to the author. You want a "for example?" The repeated use of a word in a paragraph: "deception"--five times, "intercept"--six times. Again amd again. I know Dickens preached repetition to strengthen a thought, but this ...more
Sep 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horse-crime
I quite enjoyed this book, the characters in it, the story that develops, but it was missing that something, the 'spark' that turns a good book into a great book. It was well-written, moved along at a good pace, contained enough plot twists to keep me guessing, and the chapters were a nice length. Without giving anything away, the ending felt like a cop-out, and would have preferred one that actually resulted in closure.
Jan 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Dick Francis special...retired jockey, now stockbroker, becomes involved in a colleague's murder investigation tied to a massive European Union fraud...Felix is getting better and better, with each outing, developing his character...better!!!
Oct 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very nice book. I enjoyed the plot and the characters. Page-turner book, I definitely wanted to know what was happening.
Feb 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Storyline, characters and subplots make for an entertaining read.
Kirsten Wheeler
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love, love, love this book.

Nick Foxton is a ordinary Financial Adviser whose life is turned upside down when his colleague is killed by a hitman while standing next to him. This is the ultimate story of an ordinary man caught up in an extraordinary thriller all because of a few seemingly unrelated events.

The best part - Nick doesn't suddenly get the ability to handle a gun or do martial arts (as it generally happens in the movies). Everything feels realistic - from the way the cops work to the
Sarah Russell
Jan 16, 2018 rated it liked it
It’s better than a 3-star book but not quite 4. I’d give 3 1/2 if I could. 5 stars for page turning quality. Development of characters and satisfaction of the ending is where I came up with 3 stars. Definitely recommend it for a fun, beach read if you want a murder mystery (which actually had enough twists that I didn’t know “whodunit” until pretty close to the end of the book). Give it a try! It’s a fast and engaging read.
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An excellent mystery set in Britain and with ties to the horse-racing world. This is the first book I've bought that is written totally by Felix Francis, and - - I really like it! I'm glad I took a chance and already bought two more of his books.
This book has characters that I like, a very interesting plot, and is fast-paced with lots of action. Once you get into the book, it's hard to put it down.
Wendell Hennan
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
The second book I have read by this author. Real people with foibles and personalities, a great deal of humour throughout, an action packed week in the life of boring financial advisor Nick Foxton. His co worker is shot standing beside him at the races, attempts on Nick's life, his relationship with his gf Claudia in question until he learns that she has a cancerous ovary. I could hardly put it down, a thrilling read.
Pix Smith
Mar 24, 2017 rated it liked it
I like Dick Francis' work, and this didn't disappoint.

The idea of a jockey sidelined for an injury lets this novel veer from the racetrack to the office, and that makes for a nice change of pace throughout the book. The plot isn't bad, and there are a couple of nice twists and turns along the way. Foxy is a good protagonist, and I like to think that hanging out with him would be fun. The ending was a little predictable, but I read waaaay too many books like this, so I tend to wonder, "What if" a
Judith Cranswick
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Well-drawn characters, a plot with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing to the end, heart-in-your-mouth tension, a satisfying conclusion that makes you wonder why you didn't spot it coming much, much sooner because all the clues were there yet deftly hidden, but above all, a page turning quality that keeps you reading well into the small hours.
Dec 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
The son carries on his father ‘s tradition with aplomb.

I highly recommend this book which has a few beatings but is not as gory as so many modern texts. It is fun to see another physically defrocked jockey turn detective.
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thrillers
This is the first book I've read by Felix Francis, carrying on the Dick Francis series, and it was a quick paced and enjoyable murder mystery. The storyline concerning ovarian cancer was also of some interest.
Lawrence Grey
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Son, Felix Francis has taken over the series from his father, Dick, and as I have said in the past I actually think that Felix may be improving these stories based around the British horse racing industry - find them very entertaining and fun to read and of course free from the local public library
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Dick Francis Read...: Review of Gamble 10 30 Aug 28, 2012 03:26PM  

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For over forty years, the London University grad helped father Dick Francis (31 Oct 1920 – 14 Feb 2010), ex-jockey known for horse-racing mysteries. In 2007, after 17 years teaching physics, he took on the job full-time. Experience also as international marksman aided research for Shattered, Under Orders, and Twice Shy. Co-author of NY Times bestsellers Dead Heat, Silks, Even Money and Crossfire. ...more