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3.96  ·  Rating details ·  3,122 ratings  ·  93 reviews
When reporter Bert Checkov falls to his death, his colleague James Tyrone thinks he can prove it was murder. But there's no such thing as a sure thing. ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 5th 2005 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published 1969)
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Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,122 ratings  ·  93 reviews

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James Thane
Mar 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
James Tyrone is a sports writer for a tabloid paper called The Blaze. It's not the most respectable paper in town, but it pays better than its more prestigious counterparts and Tyrone badly needs the money.

Tyrone's principal beat is horseracing and one day after lunch he walks a fellow scribe back to his office. The other reporter, Burt Chekov, writes for a competitor, but he and Tyrone have been friends. Chekov has been drinking heavily of late and seems to be deeply troubled. He's also been t
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: francis
James Tyrone is a former jockey,who is now a journalist,just like Dick Francis himself was.He has to take care of a polio stricken wife too,who needs a ventilator to breathe.This adds to his financial needs which become pressing.

Bert Chekov,a drunken colleague warns him not to sell his column.Then,Chekov falls to his death.Was it murder ?

The villain ensures that heavily favoured horses fail to appear at races,or fail to win.

An excellent effort by Francis,Forfeit deservedly won the Edgar Allan Po
Dame Agatha Christie and Her Peers
CAST - 5 stars: James Tyrone (Ty) is a newspaper writer for the "Sunday Blaze" and is married to Elizabeth, a polio victim who is 90% paralyzed. Their relationship alone, here, is done so beautifully I'd give this novel 5 stars for the cast if there was ONLY Ty and Elizabeth. But this novel is packed with fascinating people. Luke-John Morton is Ty's editor, Derry Clark is Ty's fellow writer. Bert Chekov writes columns about horses for another publication.
edwina procter
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a long term Dick Francis reader I would like to say what a refreshing departure this book was. I've been used to the hardy resistance displayed by his heroes, but only in a singular, insular way. Here we have a singularly tortured individual, tied, by love, to his crippled wife, tormented by more than the nasty criminals who are trying to bludgeon their way to success. A thoroughly engaging read which firmly involves the reader with sympathy driving the hero on to success, not in any way dete ...more
Barbara Heckendorn
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Also this Dick Francis was exciting, even if more ran next to the racecourse than on the racecourse. This time investigates a journalist unrealities in the horse betting. On a large scale, bets on horses are placed in advance, but shortly before the start these horses are deducted from the race. The bets always go to the same person, since the regulations do not provide for a return of the wagers made. Who is behind these mafia bets and how can this person be caught? With what means of pressure ...more
Mar 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, f
Bert Checkov was a Fleet Street racing correspondent with an unnerving talent for tipping non-starters for big races. But the advice he gave James Tyrone, a few minutes before he fell to his death, was of a completely different nature... Not one for the quiet life, Tyrone has a bloodhound's nose for trouble and pretty soon he's caught up in an increasingly dangerous game. One that threatens him, his crippled wife and the credibility of the racing world. Blowing the roof off is
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
Aug 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I hadn't read "Forfeit" in, oh, twenty years or something, until I recently picked it up and reread it. As always, rereading is as enlightening as reading.

"Forfeit" is one of Francis's slighter works in many ways, but it gets added depth by the interactions between Ty (the hero) and his wife Elizabeth, who has been paralyzed by polio. Rather than exciting scenes of horseback riding (Ty doesn't ride once, and only occasionally goes to the races), the tension in the story is largely generated by T
Dec 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second Francis novel I've read, and it showed that my enjoyment of Reflex was no fluke. This is a strong suspense novel which, while set in and dependent upon the milieu of horse-racing, does not require much in the way of previous knowledge. I have no real affinity for horses, in any capacity (though I do occasionally exclaim "And I want a pony," but that's beside the point), and I was only occasionally left out by this.
As with many British mystery/suspense novels of the time (publi
Jul 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
This installment in the Dick Francis series has more soap opera than many of his stories, focusing as it does on a hero who is married to a woman paralyzed by polio. This nearly intolerable situation forms the core of our hero's life, and is an essential element of the plot -- which I won't give away here.

When I read this book for the first time years ago, it actually impressed a very important principle on me which I still believe in to this day. Specifically, don't let anyone blackmail you (wh
Francis, Dick - 7th book

Bert Checkov was a Fleet Street racing correspondent with a talent for tipping non-starters. But the advice he gave to James Tyrone a few minutes before he fell to his death, was of a completely different nature. James investigates, and soon finds his own life, and that of his wife, at risk.

Very good suspense. Journalist with wife in an iron lung. Well done.
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Mar 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
classic Francis - an investigative journalist tries to take down a group of crooks at the racetrack. The usual confrontation where stubborness and brains overcomes brutality and greed. A very touching love story elevates this volume slightly above other books by the author.
Nov 15, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2006
"Racing correspondent for a newspaper dedicated to exposing scandals in the noisiest way becomes involved in exposing a racing fraud while dealing with the problems of his marriage to a woman housebound by polio."

The main character is somewhat unlikable.
Extra 1/2 star.

Despite the fact that I like to periodically reread through all of Dick Francis' books in publishing order, I always skip over this one.
Dana Stabenow
I wish Francis had written more books featuring James Tyrone.
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another great Dick Francis book featuring the horse racing world. This time the main character is a sports news reporter known for his sensational inside stories about owners, trainers and bookies. Even though the setting is in the horse racing world, Francis finds a way to make each of the books fresh and exciting.

The writer has been asked to do a piece for the magazine Tally, and as his salary at the newspaper is barely enough to keep him and his severely handicapped wife, he is given permiss
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
A goodish little thriller ruined by Richard Brown's dreadful, mechanical reading. A cut-glass British accent is all very well, but when every sentence, whether it be narration, threats, words of love or desperation has the same inflection and lack of emotion, it quickly palls. With a better reader I might have given this book four stars. I mention the bad reader as a warning to others. I see that Mr Brown has videos on Youtube demonstrating "how to read aloud." If this sample of his technique is ...more
Jun 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Sportswriter James Tyrone writes about horse racing. But something odd is happening with fellow race writer Bert Checkov – whenever Bert touts a horse, the horse loses badly or fails to show up for the race. Bert drunkenly confesses to Ty that he has sold his soul; and then falls to his death out of a seventh story window.

Ty discovers there is a rigged betting scheme and the bad guys expect Ty to be the next one to fall in line. Not only does he resist, but he must protect his paralyzed wife fr
Tommy Baker
Aug 27, 2018 rated it liked it
The beginning gives you the feeling you've stumbled onto an episode of Murder, She Wrote about 10 minutes after the start. Or considering all the car chases and crashes maybe The Rockford Files. The scenes revolving around the publication of Blaze and James Tyler's interactions with his co-workers were awfully dull and made me feel as if I were trapped like an invalid attached to a breathing machine.
Speaking of which, I thought everything having to do with Elizabeth and her predicament and how s
Timmy Cham
Jan 07, 2021 rated it liked it
Passes the time; it's okay, though...

The cover of my copy of the book breathlessly
brags of a story at "the center of a powerful
ring of international intrigue, the middle of
a high-finance farce."

Um, no. The story is more humdrum than
that: a London tabloid writer discovers a
horserace-fixing racket
. He uses his
column to cast light on the racket. This
leads to the obvious skullduggery: threats,
blackmail and beatings.

The last 50 pages or so involve a car chase,
home invasion and kidnapping. This is
Arthur Pierce
Aug 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The seventh Dick Francis novel, this one has, perhaps, less to do with horses directly than the others, despite the crooked gambling scheme that is the basis for the plot. Like the first six Francis books, it starts out quietly enough, then gradually builds to the point of almost unbearable intensity.
Apr 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Initially it was slow going and did not present very likeable characters, however once the racing angle and featured horse were prominent in the story, it became, like all Mr Francis' books, hard to put down. Not as complex as some of his others, yet the protagonist becomes more likeable as it goes on and exhibits unusual resolve and presence of mind. ...more
Sara Diane
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, mystery, 2019
I love all Francis books, but this one a little less than most. Not quite sure why. It was a good story, with some moral dilemma and lots of intrigue. The main character was in lots of danger, but showed spunk and wit. And it wrapped up nicely in the end. Not a bad read, but just not a favorite.
Bruce clark
Aug 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Classic Dick Francis: danger, an anti-hero who gets violently beaten more than once, but who has an iron will and a problem in his marriage. James Tyrone writes for a weekly newspaper that thrives on the sensational. He uncovers a horse race betting scandal that nearly costs him his life. Great characters throughout. Francis' metaphors and similies are fresh as ever! ...more
David Howard
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent and moving. All the thrills of anteposte betting - and the nonstarter market racket —on the track— while the organized crime bosses continue to get more desperate to cause favored horses to forfeit. This interesting UK track rule makes for a good crime thriller.
Judy Scott
A Disappointment

I never thought I'd dislike a Dick Francis protagonist but this one I did. He was redeemed a bit in the last couple chapters. In the meantime, he got knocked about way too often.
Oct 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rereading all of Dick Francis' work in order. This is another one I'd give 4.5 starts to, rather than 5, if that were an option, but since I can't, it deserves the bump up. This book features a very interesting and difficult moral dilemma faced by the hero/narrator. Makes you think. ...more
Tom Kammerer
Dec 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edgars
What a pleasure to read a suspense mystery and guns don’t play a part or role!
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was ok
In which the Young Man is Unfaithful and Pays a Price.
Apr 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
A pleasant relief from Covid-19 lockdown. Written in 1969, it's still good. ...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

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