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Come to Grief
 
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Dick Francis
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Come to Grief (Sid Halley #3)

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3.97  ·  Rating details ·  3,827 Ratings  ·  156 Reviews
Everyone "comes to grief", mourns many lost lives, friendships, loyalties in this troubling sad novel where we know the perpetrator from the start. Laughing, lovable ex-jockey Ellis Quint has everything he could want: fame, youth, money, good looks, talent, parents and public that believe his innocence. Jockey turned detective Sid Halley has to figure out is why his longti ...more
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Published May 28th 1996 by Books on Tape (first published 1995)
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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
An Odd1
May 06, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
"Come to Grief" by Dick Francis describes the final result - everyone mourns many lost lives, friendships, loyalties. "I had this friend, you see, that everyone loved." I thought narrator Sid was starting with his previous case, but no, the friend and connected relationships - parents, social group, public - are the current problems. We wait pages for friend Lochinvar's real name, and others breaking down - mother Ginnie's suicides, father Gordon tries to murder Sid - only the last pages answer ...more
Nikki
Continuing my self-challenge to read all the Edgar Award winners for Best Novel, I’ve come to 1996’s winner, Dick Francis’s Come to Grief. I’m sure it will make my 10 Best list for 2009.

It seems odd to me that Dick Francis, who normally sticks to standalones, has won two of his three Edgars for Best Novel with books in his all-too-brief Sid Halley series. Come to Grief is the last of them, an unusually-structured book which, while losing none of the suspense Francis excels at, also adds new dept
...more
Lynn
Aug 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Dick Francis's books. The Sid Halley books are the only series that he wrote. All the rest of his books are stand alone. All of his books involve horses, many of them are set in the racing world...particularly jump races. In this book, someone is cutting off the left front hoof of young horses. The mother of a little girl with cancer hires Sid to find out who is doing it. His relationship with the little girl is really great. Sid was injured in a racing accident and eventually lost his ha ...more
Steelwhisper
I'm not sure Francis wanted to return to Sid Halley, yet somehow maybe felt he must?
Becca
Sep 12, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was truly a trashy mystery novel. The worst part was, it wasn't even entertaining. The crime was absurd- cutting off a horse's leg- and Francis tries to make you care about it by throwing in a sappy story about a little girl with leukemia. The plot is just poorly put together and equally strange, and you're asked to just take for granted that the criminals are crazy and not question their motivations beyond that. The detective has a prosthetic hand and is supposedly famous yet he's always d ...more
Janine
Aug 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series, mystery
This was my first Dick Francis and after a bit of a slow beginning it was enjoyable.
Miriam Smith
May 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Dick Francis books and tales of the racing world and thoroughly enjoyed this one too.
Jay
Nov 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horse-racing
This was a bit different than many of the other Francis mysteries that I have read. And not for the better. First, part of the Francis method is to have the story’s hero face physical distress. Here, our detective is beaten in the first 10 pages. Sid Halley, former jockey turned detective, is handicapped with a missing hand. And as in the earlier two Sid Halley stories, he faces the prospect of injury to his remaining hand. Francis writes well, and this is difficult to read. Second, in this book ...more
Banjomike
Aug 05, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
This was the book I picked to "try" Dick Francis.

BIG MISTAKE.

I cannot pretend to be an animal person but I couldn't read a book about chopping horses legs off.

No more Dick Francis for me. Sorry.
Arlene
May 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dick Francis is a marvel at story-telling and mulling over life. I would pick up a book by him any day.
E.P.
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After an almost 20-year hiatus, Dick Francis returns to his favorite character Sid Halley in "Come to Grief." Like the other Sid Halley stories, this one is dark and edgy even for a Dick Francis book, and like the other novels from the early 1990s, it features a particularly sadistic and disturbed villain.

This time Sid Halley is called into action to find out who has been mutilating ponies and yearlings (like I said, sadistic and disturbed). The answer plunges Sid into some deep soul-searching,
...more
Dianeparente62gmail.com
I had never read a Dick Francis novel before, but based on this one, I am more than ready to try his other Edgar award winners. Francis spins a tale that is compelling from start to finish.

Although Francis sets the novel in the unfamiliar environment of British steeplechase racing, he so entwines the setting and story that one is slowly (and painlessly) led into new vistas. The plot has many levels--the personal, the professional, themes involving widespread corruption, and the book's primary f
...more
Sunanda Kesavadas
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When you pick up a DF book you know somewhat what you are going to get. A genuinely nice guy hero who gets embroiled in a situation not of his making but from which he must get out nonetheless. DF writes emotions superbly. The dilemma that Sid faces here becomes real and even though you may suspect what will eventually happen, it still manages to punch you in the gut to read it.
Bruce Clark
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Superb Dick Francis mystery featuring Sid Halley. Couldn't put it down.
Phillip Noble
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Twists and turns abound, as in every Dick Francis novel I’ve read, which is over 20 at last count.
Sarah
Sid finds that his friend Ellis Quint may be guilty of maiming horses. A little different from the usual narrative style, with the back and forth. Surprised how much I enjoyed it anyway.
Jo Trelfa
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyed this book, I like the character Side and I'm looking forward to more of his adventures.
Shorty

It seems odd to me that Dick Francis, who normally sticks to standalones, has won two of his three Edgars for Best Novel with books in his all-too-brief Sid Halley series. Come to Grief is the last of them, an unusually-structured book which, while losing none of the suspense Francis excels at, also adds new depth to the character of steeplechase-jockey-turned-private-eye Halley.

I would have loved this novel to be longer. I would have adored there to be much more Sid Halley novels. There are not
...more
Louise Hartgen
Nov 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was a huge improvement on its predecessor. Sid Halley's character has grown and evolved and he's a lot less chippy in this one and a lot more likeable. He's also in a heck of a mess!

He has been called in by the mother of a little girl who is very ill with leukaemia. the little girl is devastated when her pony falls victim to an act of mindless vandalism, and her mother wants the vandal found and brought to justice. Sid soon finds it's not only this pony who has been hurt in this parti
...more
Alex Robertson
Feb 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read all of the Dick Francis books (although not the most recent by Felix). Most of the books are enjoyable reads, although in my view most of the early novels are superior. Francis usually used a different main character for each book, which allowed a broad range of plot settings, although the main male character has the same characteristics. Come to grief is the fourth book featuring Sid Halley, and I did enjoy it. There is no real mystery (as in a whodunnit) because the guilty party is ...more
Ed
#3 in the Sid Halley series. "1996 Edgar Award for Best Mystery; Finalist 1996 Shamus Award for Best Novel"

Sid Halley series - Sid Halley, the one-handed PI and ex-jockey, takes on a case of multiple mutilations of thoroughbreds; unnervingly, the amputation of the animals' front left hooves mirrors Sid's own injury. The investigator soon realizes that the man behind the crimes is his old friend Ellis Quint, ex-gentleman jockey and now a beloved TV host. Sick at heart, Sid builds a strong case; b
...more
Mark Ching
Aug 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic entry from Dick Francis. I finished it in less than 24 hours.



SPOILERS ARE AHEAD.



What I like about this book is that it has a lot of heart: protagonist Sid Halley tries to solve the mystery for a kid with leukemia. The antagonist is his best friend. He is also in constant battle with his own fears and frustrations. He finds hope in a delinquent, whom he tests to be an assistant. Even the conclusion is full of heart--it may be tear-jerking for some.



I also like the attention to little det
...more
Sorcha
Nov 04, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
This book brings the return of narrator Sid Halley (Odds Against; Whip Hand) as the one-handed PI and ex-jockey takes on a case of multiple mutilations of thoroughbreds; unnervingly, the amputation of the animals' front left hooves mirrors Sid's own injury. The investigator soon realizes that the man behind the crimes is his old friend Ellis Quint, ex-gentleman jockey and now a beloved TV host. Sick at heart, Sid builds a strong case; but, when Quint is charged, British law bars any public discu ...more
Beth
Oct 24, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A re-read though not within the last year. Come to Grief is an excellent exercise book with the typical Dick Francis hero, stoic, ethical, and willing to take risks. Former jockey Sid Halley has lost his left hand in a riding accident and can therefore no longer race. Instead he has become a private investigator. The case he investigates in this book is one that he himself has brought against his best friend and former riding competitor, Ellis Quint, now a talk show host and darling of the natio ...more
Karen
Feb 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's too much "ickyness" in this novel for me to give it a 5--too many terrible injuries to innocent horses as the result of a psychotic villain, and his doting parents. When the hero, Sid Halley (as close to a series' character as Francis ever gets) accuses his friend and fellow former jockey, Ellis, of committing these terrible acts, Sid's reputation and life are suddenly not worth "spit." He fights the media, the police force, the judicial system, the peerage memebers who are Ellis' family ...more
Susan
Jan 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that is possibly a bit more than the mayhem and violence that is usually engendered by crime..the theme is really betrayal and disillusionment between friends and indeed an entire social circle, and as usual the public mistakes the good guy for the baddie. It's also about strength of character and expedience and the choices one is forced to make between good and evil.
Sid Halley an ex-jockey turned investigator discovers to his growing horror that one of his closest friends is guil
...more
Contrarius
Dick Francis is still the only author to have ever won three Edgar awards for mystery novels, and this is the book that won him his third award. This is also the third of his four books using ex-jockey Sid Halley as his main character. This and Whip Hand have got to be my two favorite Francis books -- there is lots of Francis' patented spare prose, and lots of well-hidden internal conflict from Sid. There are also lots of complications and side-issues in the plot, mostly dealing either directly ...more
Victoria
Dick Francis's story about former jockey Sid Halley turned private investigator was interesting from beginning to end. While investigating a crime, Sid finds all the evidence pointing to his best friend, a popular tv personality. The story deals well with how Sid handles the whole situation, remaining the ethical guy that he is while dealing with the anger of the public and the press.

That the story took place in the horse racing world in England was different than many of the usual police/detec
...more
Helen
Apr 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books that insist on being read straight through. I've always liked Sid Halley; I have the first two books featuring him on my keeper shelf. This one doesn't disappoint. It's a thrill ride from the beginning with a mystery that's not a murder but a particularly gruesome and apparently serial crime involving, of course, horses. We also know the accused from page one. That makes the plot a cat-and-mouse game between the principals: can Sid prove it? Francis has a gift for dial ...more
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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
More about Dick Francis...

Other Books in the Series

Sid Halley (5 books)
  • Odds Against (Sid Halley, #1)
  • Whip Hand (Sid Halley, #2)
  • Under Orders (Sid Halley, #4)
  • Dick Francis's Refusal (Sid Halley, #5)