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3.83  ·  Rating details ·  3,839 ratings  ·  416 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 defense lawyer Geoffrey Mason hears the judge’s ruling at London’s Old Bailey, he quietly hopes that a substan
Hardcover, 338 pages
Published August 26th 2008 by Putnam Adult (first published 2008)
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Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,839 ratings  ·  416 reviews

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May 17, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
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
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.
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
Aug 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
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
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
Brandt Smith
Jul 16, 2009 rated it did not like it
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.
Jul 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Geoffry Mason (Nick named Perry by his jockey friends) is a barrister (lawyer) by trade and an amateur jockey by passion. As the book opens he is defending a particularly nasty piece of work who gets seven or eight years and screams he's going to "get" Geoffry for failing to get him off.

Then, a fellow jockey calls Geoffry. He's been accused of murder and only "Perry" can get him off.

The case is complicated and was impossible for this reader to unwind though the clues were there. Working flat o
A top drawer racing thriller by Dick and his son, Felix Francis. Silks as in jockey and barrister silk attire. An amater jockey barrister gets drawn into defending a leading jump jockey accused of murdering a rival, in a story and case that could have significant impact on the world horse racing. Best Francis book I've read, although I have only read four of them, including this one. 7 out of 12
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Aisling O Carroll
Would give this 3.5 stars. Definitely grew on me.
Sep 18, 2008 rated it liked it
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
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
Shelves: mystery, dick-francis
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
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
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
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 trailing off,
Apr 25, 2014 rated it did not like it
This was very poor even for Dick Francis. He isn't much of a writer but most of his books are an entertaining read. This was full of holes and really unconvincing.
Surely a barrister would have gone straight to the police, not tried to solve the case himself? As this was so unconvincing I couldn't take the book seriously.
Some of the detail was very poor. For instance an amateur jockey who had his own horse in training would have known a lot more about horses than this man, he would have even kno
Sep 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Renee M
May 29, 2016 rated it liked it
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. :)
Feb 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: francis
This time,Dick Francis and his son Felix take the action to the courtroom with the inevitable racing backdrop.Murder,blackmail and violence are familiar elements but Felix does a pretty good job,under the tutelage of his father.The ending is a surprise.
Oct 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
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.
Jul 11, 2010 rated it liked it
Slow going throughout but a humdinger of a revelation, Perry Mason style. Satisfying conclusion.
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
Nov 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is I believe my second test of the Felix Francis co-written books, and I was pleasantly surprised again; it was good fun! The characters were interesting, the dynamics fun to experience, and fascinatingly this book spoke to some dynamics of law that correlated to encounters with law elsewhere in my life and reading. For example, in one or two places it mentioned the differences between the UK/US legal styles and the mainland Europe ones; something which I'd only recently become aware of and ...more
Linda Lassman
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paul Bolton
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful storytelling, enjoyed it very much. The plot was nicely laid out, together with traps for the unwary and nicely wrapped up in the end. I found it a more overall satisfying read then my last Francis' novel (Shattered), now whether this is because the horse-racing was twinned with one of my favorite topics (legal/courtroom drama) or whether for me the writing of Felix balanced of the piece, I guess that I will never know.

Admittedly, maybe for horse-racing fans they may get bogged down wi
Nov 19, 2017 rated it liked it
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
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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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