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3.78  ·  Rating details ·  3,165 Ratings  ·  375 Reviews

"Julian Trent, you have been found guilty by this court of perpetrating a violent and unprovoked attack on an innocent family including a charge of attempted murder. You have shown little or no remorse for your actions and I consider you a danger to society."

When defence barrister Geoffrey Mason hears the judge's verdict, he quietly hopes that a long and arduous custodial

Kindle Edition, 353 pages
Published (first published 2008)
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May 17, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
As with Dead Heat, the other Francis father/son outing, all the elements are there for a good story, but once again, it doesn't deliver at the level readers of Francis have come to expect. The pacing is just a bit off, son Felix still dump truck loads in the middle of the narrative that slow it down to almost stopping the story, and some characters who could have been used to better advantage are given short shrift making the reader wonder why all the detail had been given about that character. ...more
Kate Loveday
Sep 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always enjoy reding Dick Francis's tales of racing, and this was no exception. His central character, George 'Perry' Mason, is a barrister who is also an amateur steeplechase rider. He is reluctantly dragged into defending a fellow jockey who is accused of murdering another jock by spearing him with a pitchfork. His belief in the innocence of the accused is strengthened when he is subjected to intimidation by a former client 'bad boy', who wants him to lose the case. Lots of skullduggery in th ...more
SILKS (Unl. Invest-Geoffrey Mason-England-Cont) – VG+
Francis, Dick and Felix Francis – 42nd book
Penguin/Michael Joseph-2008-UK Hardcover – ISBN: 9780718154578

First sentence: “Guilty.”

Barrister and amateur jockey Geoffrey Mason, known as ‘Perry Mason’ by his racing friends. He had once successfully defended a violent young man, Julian Trent. Trent, found guilty nonetheless and swearing revenge against Mason, is now being released on appeal. Mason receives a call from fellow jockey, Steve Mitchell
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
Daniel Taylor
When the lawyer character has the nickname "Perry Mason", you go into the story with certain expectations.

A few years before this story starts, lawyer Geoffrey Mason failed to successfully defend his client. Now that client has been released and is coming after him in a tale that combines horse racing, murder and manipulation. Like a Perry Mason episode, most of the significant drama takes place in the courtroom.

This is the first Dick Francis book I've read and going on the blurb, it's not one I
Aug 15, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
As usual with Dick Francis, the plot is interesting and lots of knowledge is imparted. This time, however, great quantities of exposition are ladled out in steaming lumps. This becomes tedious rather quickly. Our barrister hero, a widower, becomes involved in a case that reaches its tentacles deep into the horse-racing world. So far so good.

What made Francis so good was the humanity of his heroes, the depths they had to reach for courage, and the witty dialogue. These attributes must have been t
Sep 18, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Almost but not quite up to vintage Dick Francis - English barrister (despite the explanation I still don't understand the difference between a barrister and a solicitor or just how the English lawyer system works) and amateur jockey Geoffrey Mason (nicknamed Perry by his jockey friends, naturally) meets some unscrupulous clients and acquaintances. But, in typical Francis characterization, he stands firm and mostly unafraid and comes out the winner. Doesn't have the depth of some of the Francis c ...more
Mar 06, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading Silks for several reasons. I like the English flavor and reflection of life in England. I liked the current references in this book to our time and places. I liked just knowing it was written by Dick Francis because I like his stories and writing. It was interesting to read how the law is interpreted and carried out in their courts. The only drawback to my full enjoyment of this novel was a few incidences of offensive language. I don't remember past Dick Francis novels containi ...more
Sep 18, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not his best. I didn't get into this one until about half-way through. I did enjoy the last half, though.

My major quibble is that Dick Francis' protagonists always drive me nuts. They are all brave and clever. They are also staggeringly un-common-sensical. (I know, that's not a word.)

In this one, a barrister by day, jockey by weekend, is attacked one evening on his way home from work by a man he had prosecuted and put in jail previously. The bad guy attacks him with a baseball bat. So what does
May 02, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe it's just because it seems like such a LONG time since I've read a new Dick Francis, but I really enjoyed Silks. When Dick Francis retired, I felt very sad that there would never be another new Dick Francis to read. So when he did publish again, I bought an autographed copy, saved it, and savored the knowledge that I once again had a new Dick Francis to read! Now that he appears to be back on his regular yearly publishing schedule, co-writing with his son, it's time for me to get back to m ...more
Lisa H.
Apr 02, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dick-francis, mystery
Pity one can't give a 0 stars rating to a book and have it register. I couldn't even finish this one - taking it back to the library after reading fewer than 50 pages.

It looks like the elder Mr. Francis has given over writing duties completely to his son. I knew from the first page (no exaggeration) that they weren't his words any more. Pulled one of his earlier books from my shelf and compared its first page with the leaden prose of the opening paragraphs of "Silks" - not even close. What a dis
May 24, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Dick Francis used to be one of my favorite authors. All his stories take place in England, and are always murder mysteries around horses/stable/racetrack/etc. The main character was an ex-jockey turned PI that only has 1 arm. I looooved them. This however was not one of them.

This is the first Dick Francis book I have read that was a collaboration with his son. It is a new protagonist, but was still the same formula - murder mystery taking place at a racetrack/stable. It just was lackluster. Gone
Sep 21, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Geoffrey Mason, barrister, was more relieved than not that his client was declared guilty. Julian Trent, charming youngster from an ideal family, loves violence. Then Julian's conviction is overturned. Obviously the witnesses against him have been terrorized into reversing their testimony. Geoffrey becomes a target of the released Julian, who lost his case, but there seems to be more going on than revenge. Geoffrey finds himself landed with the nearly hopeless trial of a celebrity jockey.

I delay
Nov 07, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Am a Dick Francis fan & this was my first foray into the father/son combo & a big disappointment. Dick Francis is a remarkable author. He is/was somehow able to maintain tension and capture your affections for his male protagonists, so full of old world charm and vulnerability, yet his stories could be quite slow and detailed.

With Silks, the detail lacks the Francis magic. It permeates the story, making it ponderous, leaden, full of portentious significance that invariably ends by trail
Sep 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book. Like all of Dick Francis' novels it took me a little while to get into, but once I was in I was hooked. The ending is quite surprising and comes suddenly. I think he did an excellent job of keeping this book a good length, not too long, not too short. I also found this book a little easier to understand than some of his other books, as far as horse terminology and knowledge goes.
Miriam Smith
Aug 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a typical well written Dick Francis book, co - written with his son Felix and has a storyline that lies thick in a courtroom with an amateur jump jockey trained barrister trying to defend a fellow jockey for a murder he didn't commit. I really enjoyed this book and only dropped a star for maybe being a little over the top in legal jargon and procedure. Fans of John Grisham would love this. Would recommend.
Brandt Smith
Jul 16, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first and last Dick Francis novel. I knew at the start, it was no great work of literature, yet some of the plot resolutions felt incredibly forced and amaturish. I found the central character unsympathetic and only continued to read in hopes of a satisfying resolve. DIDN'T HAPPEN. Not only was it NOT satidfying, it was offensive. THe book might have earned a 3 for the brief insights into the judicail system, but the last two paragraphs lowered it to a one.
Renee M
Decent legal thriller surrounding the business of horse racing and breeding. My first Dick Francis. I can see why I shelved so many of this series in my bookstore days. I'll definitely recommend these to my dad. :)
Oct 20, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solid Dick Francis book. I didn't find it slow, but then the main character is a lawyer, so I am entitled to that opinion! Give it a shot, and hold on till the end.
Nov 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paperbacks
This is another book I read last month. I got this from a second-hand bookstore. I have always loved Dick Francis. Every time I see a book of his, it is automatic that I buy it. I have a list of authors that I look for first, every time I go inside a bookstore. If I can't find any of their works, then the digging and reading the back covers start.

Silks mean two things. One is to mean a QC - Queen's Counsel. An English (British) term for senior lawyers. Informally or commonly referred to as a si
Jeannine Stewart
Oct 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been a fan of Dick Francis for years and read most of his earlier books. I love horse racing and England so his books are the best of both worlds, they evolve around or are connected to horse racing in some way and they usually take place in England. This one, by Dick Francis and his son Felix, takes me back to the earlier Francis books where the main character has some death or trauma in his past, has a difficult or non-existent romantic life, gets mangled or banged up somewhere along the ...more
Geoffry Mason is a 35-year-old barrister and an amatuer steeplejumper. He represents a young man, Julian Trent, on an assault charge. Julian is convicted, but a few months later, the sentence is overturned when three jurors claim they were asked to vote guilty by the defense.

A few months later, Julian assualts Geoffry and tells him to lose the case he's defending or his father will become a victim. Geoff decides he doesn't want to be a vivtom of intimidation and starts to fight back. His home i
I understand that long time readers of Dick Francis' novels are not as enamored with the father/son writing team, but having limited experience with the father's works I found this novel very entertaining. It had just enough of the horse racing world and gave some interesting insights into the British legal system for this American. I was rooting for the protagonist and his foray into a new relationship and felt his fear that his family and girlfriend were in danger. This book does not qualify a ...more
May 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good, but somehow lacking in that special 'something' that makes a Dick Francis story compelling reading. I started this a week ago and stopped reading after a dozen or so pages and only picked it up again last night.

It's a bit heavy on the 'legal' aspect and a bit light on the horse side, which may be the reason I wasn't wildly enthusiastic. In the end I skimmed a fair amount of the story which makes it a three star rather than four.
Oct 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I see this book was co-written with his son. The dialogue and story take some missteps it feels to me. The witty dialogue is noticeably weaker. I enjoyed Francis' earlier books because they were so cleanly written, well-crafted and gripping. Still an enjoyable read and I learned quite a bit about the English and American law system.
Jeremy Trumble
I am a big fan of Dick Francis and am pleased to know that the tradition of his great storytelling will be continued with his son. This is a great book and one of my favorites from the Francis clan...
Susan Wood
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Classic Francis!!

Entertaining, excellent twists, lots of racing and good character development of main actors. Lots of emotion from key players while main character was calm and collected.
Diann Corsnitz
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Always a winner

Dick Francis and son are as enjoyable and puzzling as any Dick Francis novel. The horse racing environment, the mystery and the tension are powerful. If you have enjoyed a Dick Francis novel before you will enjoy this one.
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
little nervous going in because it's not just Dick who wrote it but was very pleasantly surprised.
Paula Newbanks
Typical Dick Francis, good story line, horse racing...
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Dick Francis CBE (born Richard Stanley Francis) was a popular British horse racing crime writer and retired jockey.

Dick Francis worked on his books with his wife, Mary, before her death. Dick considered his wife to be his co-writer - as he is quoted in the book, "The Dick Francis Companion", released in 2003:
"Mary and I worked as a team. ... I have often said that I would have been happy to have b
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