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Banker

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  3,413 Ratings  ·  148 Reviews
Tim Ekaterin's merchant bank, like all banks, invests only in sure things. Now he is about to involve it in a #5 million stallion. Top breeders reckon it's the safest bet in racing, but racing is riddled with dubious dealmakers - people to whom no bet is safe until it's paid in blood.
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Published February 1st 1984 by MacMillan General Books (first published 1982)
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Billie Johnson I don't think there is anything unsuitable per se for younger readers in BANKER, however, the story is against a background of high finance, and…moreI don't think there is anything unsuitable per se for younger readers in BANKER, however, the story is against a background of high finance, and fraud, a lot of nuance, so I would be concerned it would hold the interest of young readers.(less)
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Algernon
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018

The ground trembled from the thud of the hooves, the air rang with the curses of jockeys, the half-ton equine bodies brushed through the birch, the sweat and the effort and the speed filled eyes and ears and mind with pounding wonder and then they were gone, flying away, leaving the silence. I had walked down several times before to watch from the fences, both there and on other tracks, and the fierce fast excitement had never grown stale.

Racing makes even the blood of a cautious naturally bor
...more
Kaethe
1 Jan 1995
1 Jan 1998
12 Mar 1998

Background: I picked up my first Dick-and-Mary Francis* in the early-80s. Read all the backlist at least once, but the early ones weren't so much my cuppa. They were a little too self-consciously hard boiled, but it always felt awkward. The last twenty or thirty were much more about the psychology of the bad guy; they weren't so much about motive, means, and opportunity as they were about why this person might commit this kind of murder, but other people, with just
...more
Martina
Mar 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery/thriller lovers of all ages
Shelves: crime, thriller
It seems to me that I am, slowly but surely, becoming a Dick Francis fan. After "Reflex", "Banker" came next on my list. Here are my thoughts after reading the novel.

The composition of this novel mirrors that one of "Reflex", in terms of slowly unfolding plot. However, unlike "Reflex", "Banker" spans over the time period of three years. But thanks to Mr. Francis' polished writing, the transitions between the years are smooth, and the final product is a well-paced novel. The events at the beginn
...more
Jerry B
Jul 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
One of his best books, lovable characters, great plot...

We have read every Dick Francis novel, some forty (!) in all. We marvel at the author's ability to endear the lead characters to the reader within just a few pages. While our hero is always a man, it is always a man men would like to be like, and women would like to find! Tim Ekaterin is no exception -- while he works in an investment bank, making daily decisions on big business loans, he is all of humble, courteous and pleasant, sensitive,
...more
Jaime
Sep 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, general_mystery
In Banker, Dick Francis is able to take two things I know very little about — merchant banking and thoroughbred breeding — and twist them together in such a way that I can’t put the book down. I always find reading Francis to be effortless. He pulls me in from the start with an unusual situation. Young banker Tim Ekaterin finds his boss standing in the fountain in front of the bank with his clothes on. This situation is what leads to Tim being responsible for deciding whether or not the finance ...more
Harry
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
Nancy Herkness
Oct 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just re-read (probably for the fourth or fifth time) BANKER by Dick Francis and was struck again by what a terrific book it is. Tim Ekaterin is a merchant banker who approves a large loan to a stud farm to purchase a high-priced stallion. Of course, bad things happen and he discovers what they are and who perpetrated them. The book is set less in the horse world than in the world of British banking and yet I still loved it.

Tim is one of Francis' most intriguing characters: the grandson of the
...more
Chrisl
Dec 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite multiple re-reads by Dick Francis, both in print and audio. Tony Britton is one of my favorite readers.
Eva
Dec 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tim Ekaterin is a young, rising, merchant banker. His days are spent deciding which business ventures to lend money to. Doesn't that sound dull? After careful consideration and research, he crafts a very large loan enabling a stud farmer to purchase a champion race horse for breeding. As the introduction begins, "It's difficult to say where disaster begins..." and all great novels deal in disasters. Tim finds himself working desperately to save the bank's money and learns a great deal more about ...more
Contrarius
Jul 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Banker is another fine entry in the Francis series. This one is a bit longer than many other Francis books -- 10 hours in audio format, rather than the average 7 or 8 -- and the first half of the book (a full 5 hours in audio) has very little mystery in it at all. Banker takes its own sweet time building the background and wandering through the life of the main character. In fact, this slow buildup should tell the reader that the mystery may not actually be the most important part of the book at ...more
Suzanne Moore
Mar 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Tim Ekaterin is a banker who finances the purchase of Sandcastle, a champion stud racehorse. Sandcastle’s new owner, Oliver Knowles, makes a fortune breeding the stallion. When Sandcastle’s offspring are born, they are discovered to have severe abnormalities. This dramatically decreases the value of Oliver’s investment, and puts him in danger of losing everything. Things go from bad to worse when Ginnie, Oliver’s daughter is found dead under suspicious circumstances. Dick Francis adds mystery wh ...more
Stephanie
Oct 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
This is DF's second best book, to date (Proof is arguably the best). Certainly, it is the one most different from his previous books although, like all the rest, horse racing figures prominently. The basic plot is that a man with a whole lot of ex-wives is murdered. Which ex-wife did it? Read and find out.
LJ
BANKER - Ex
Francis, Dick - 21st book

Tim Ekaterin's merchant bank, like all banks, invests only in sure things. Now he is about to involve it in a £5 million stallion. Top breeders reckon it's the safest bet in racing, but racing is riddled with dubious dealmakers - people to whom no bet is safe until it's paid in blood.

What I remember most is flying kites. I so enjoyed this book.
Christine Kraft
Aug 28, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this book! Good story, good writing, and comfortable.
Josie Palmer
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Banker wrote by the author Dick Francis is an adventurous mystery that was published in 1982. Francis was first known as a champion steeplechase jockey that later expanded his fame by writing many crime solving novels. His style revolves around grabbing the reader’s attention on the first page, and keeps their attention by making the reader’s wanting to know how everything falls into place and comes out i the end.
Tim Ekaterin is a banker in England who loans out money to those who he believes
...more
Theresa
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tim Ekaterin’s parents were rich... up to a point. Enjoying a privileged upbringing of comfort and ease, Tim’s memories included lavish vacations and going to the races. “I had been their only child and they’d given me a very good childhood, to the extent that when I thought of holidays it was of yachts on warms seas or Christmas in the Alps.” However, by the time Tim’s father passes away, he and his wife had lost millions of pounds through gambling. “In twenty-five years, it seemed, my mother ...more
Bethel
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting take on a faith healer for sick horses. And a very different love triangle!! A great read
Cyndi Smith
Mar 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this one was so satisfying ... the villian was liked till the very end almost
Cheryl
Dec 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another wonderful Dick Francis book. Although it is entitled Banker, he still weaves in a story about race horses. Finished it in one day!
Gary Burke
May 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dick Francis books are always a good read! I haven't disliked any of his books yet, and I have read almost all of them.

His main character is always likeable, easy going, yet comes through when he finds himself is a tricky situation. Which always seems to happen. He also includes background information on some aspect of the environment in which the story takes place - usually around horses.

So it is no surprise that Banker gets 5 stars. The story is typically horse related (which one always expect
...more
Linda Riebel
Apr 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I adore Dick Francis’s novels. They are brilliantly plotted, feature likeable and resourceful heroes, and have satisfying denouements. As a retired jockey, Francis located ALL his books in or around the world of horse racing. This narrow universe fortunately doesn’t interfere with one’s pleasure in the plot and characters.

In fact, I read so many of them (repeatedly) that a friend thought I was interested in horse racing! Anyway, I took Dick Francis as my model when I started writing fiction, an
...more
Linda
Jun 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Tim Ekaterin, an investment banker helps to arrange a large loan for Oliver Knowles to purchase and breed a champion horse, Sandcastle. When foals begin to be born, many have severe birth defects. Oliver is in danger of going bankrupt, and Tim becomes involved in attempts to understand what is happening and why. Also involved in the story is Calder Jackson, a veterinarian who seems to have a magic way with healing horses. The book starts rather slowly, but once all the characters are in place, ...more
Diana
Nov 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Banker / Dick Francis ****

Tim Ekaterin works in a merchant bank in London. A merchant bank is not a regular bank as we think of it but a financial institution which loans large sums of money to fledgling and established businesses. The story gives the reader a peek into the financial world, a “feel” for high finance and how loan decisions are made . The story is also centered around horse racing and the breeding of prime quarter horses destined to become grand champions . Of course, it is a murd
...more
Lynn
May 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this is an older book, but one I haven't read. Most of his books are "stand alone" except for the Sid Halley series. This one is about a young man working in a banking firm. He convinces his partners to loan a huge sum so that a man can buy a race horse to use for stud. Of course it does not all go smoothly. All of Francis' books have something about horse racing in them. Also the characters are well drawn and the dialog is great. You can't go wrong with Dick Francis.
Nancy Schober
The murder and mayhem in this was so heartbreaking that I found it hard to read. The characters weren't as well drawn as in some of his other novels. But of course once started I had to finish to find out 'who done it'. Methinks Francis grows so fond of his made up characters - and maybe grateful for his livelihood?- that he feels obligated to give them a happy ending. That's find by me no matter how implausible.
Karen
Apr 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really do not know why I liked this as well as I did, but I did. The ending was kind of to good to be true all of a sudden. but my twisted mind went what? and was kind of suspicious.This is the first I've read of this author. Will read another. Was supposed to be a suspenseful mystery, but wasn't really much of that. Somehow though I found it refreshing. could be just because it was British.
James Fearn
This book took a long time to really get started and I was not really interested until near the end of it. It may have been the timing of when I read it, but I would like to try another Francis book in the future. Overall I recommend the book. I say power through the first year and a half and then enjoy the last half of the book.
Chris
Banker is a strange Francis novel for it seems, it feels, as if it lacks originality, at least in the character of Tom. The scenes with Tom and Judith are well written, and there are some wonderful lines. The ending, however, seems too pat.
Steelwhisper
Re-read. A favourite.
Kate
Jun 17, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Not as fast paced as other Francis novels, but gripping just the same. How does he do that?
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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
...more
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“The dignity of man was everywhere tissue-paper thin.” 9 likes
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