Wendy's Reviews > Even Money

Even Money by Dick Francis
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Oct 11, 2010

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bookshelves: 2010, fiction, mystery
Read from October 09 to 11, 2010

I wonder if this will be the last book published with Dick Francis's name first and foremost, or if, like the protagonist in this book, Felix Francis will cease to ride his parent's famous and successful coattails, and put his own name on the banner on future publications.

I liked this book. Interesting protagonist, twisted mystery, reasonably cogent plot, decent characterization, etc. I didn't love it, though, as I often have some of Dick Francis's novels. Accustomed as I am to stopping to admire the wordcraft, I was slightly let down this time to find myself stopping instead to consider how I would have rewritten some of the prose. It could have been tighter in places, particularly in the early going.

As protagonists go, Ned Talbot was interesting and sympathetic but not as rounded as earlier unwilling heroes have been. I liked him, but didn't find him particularly resonant, and I'm not sure he'll stick in my mind in the long term. Or maybe he will, because of the convoluted nature of his family life.

I'm not sure I've ever been so lukewarm about a Dick Francis novel. Usually I feel strongly about them, one way (I loved Straight) or the other (didn't and still don't care for Slay-Ride). Still, Mr. Francis is one of my favourite authors, and I was so sorry that we lost him last year. I'm obviously still clinging to the name.

Keep writing, Felix. And use your own name.
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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

I think I felt much the same about this book as you did. Not bad but not one of the best. There is apparently one more book with Dick Francis' name on it that was just released (called Crossfire). According to the Dick Francis website that was the last one in which he had input before his death. Wonder if Felix Francis will continue solo?


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