It is said that everyone over a certain age can remember distinctly what they were doing when they heard that President Kennedy had been assassinated, or that Princess Diana had been killed in a Paris car crash, but I, for one, could recall all too clearly where I was standing when a policeman told me that my wife had been murdered.
Bill Russell is acting as a volunteer steward at Warwick races when he confronts his worst nightmare – the violent death of his much-loved wife. But worse is to come when he is accused of killing her and hounded mercilessly by the media. His life begins to unravel completely as he loses his job and his home. Even his best friends turn against him, believing him guilty of the heinous crime in spite of the lack of compelling evidence.
Bill sets out to clear his name but finds that proving one’s innocence is not easy – one has to find the true culprit, and Bill believes he knows who it is. But can he prove it before he becomes another victim of the murderer.
Felix Francis is another one of the ‘giants’ of crime fiction, following in from his fathers footsteps. Releases from him are another fixed point in the literary calendar. He combines the world of horse racing with crime to make thrillers that keep you reading to the very end. Normally I don’t like horse racing but they’re actually very good, even for a non race goer.
This one is slightly different in the fact that racing plays second fiddle to the courtroom. The protagonist is an ex jockey, who is also a steward at racecourses. A steward being someone who arbitrates on the breaking of law. However that’s probably as far as the racing connection goes. When his wife dies in mysterious circumstances, Bill is the main suspect for her murder. He has to battle to prove he is innocent whilst trying to bring to justice the person he thinks is responsible.
So is this novel worth a read. If you’re a fan of the ‘Francis’ dynasty, then the answer is yes. If you’re a casual reader, it certainly worth a read, as is the rest of the series. It’s a good solid read for anyone into crime thrillers. I did miss more of the race atmosphere usually associated with the books, yet it was a refreshing easy read with a delicious twist at the end.
This book was sent for a fair and honest review by the author via NetGallery . The resulting review is my honest thoughts after reading the book.