BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Friday, November 6, 2015

Bea Reviews Front Runner by Felix Francis

Bea's Book Nook, review, Front Runner, Felix Francis, mystery
Series: Jefferson Hinkley #2
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Son's
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Challenges: What An Animal
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | OmniLit*   | iTunes* | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

Jefferson Hinkley is back in the newest Dick Francis thriller by the New York Times–bestselling author of Damage.

In his role as an undercover investigator for the British Horseracing Authority, Jeff Hinkley is approached by a multi-time champion jockey to discuss the delicate matter of losing races on purpose. Little does he know that the call will set off a lethal chain of events, including the apparent suicide of the jockey and an attempt on Hinkley’s own life. Never one to leave suspicious events alone, Hinkley begins investigating the jockey and the races he may have thrown. But there are others out there who intend to prevent his inquiry from probing further . . . at any cost.

Bea's Thoughts:

 Felix Francis has come into his own. Though Felix's mysteries  are similar to his father's - dry wit, light on emotion, a depressed male lead who works through his emotional hurdles - he makes them all his own. Unlike the last book by Felix Francis that I read,  he's no longer trying too hard. It's his story, told his way. 

"Front Runner" delivered interesting characters, several decent mysteries, a semi-plausible romance, and an enjoyable story. Jeff Hinkley is an investigator for the British Horseracing Authority and he is approached by a friend about a problem. Before we hardly have a chance to blink, there are several serious attempts on his life. I had a guess, that was partially right, about one of the mysteries but I was wrong about the other one. They are connected, though not how you initially expect. Francis kept me off balance and surprised me. Despite the multiple murder attempts, the story was slow at times in part due to lots of technical info until about halfway through and then it picked up. I liked Hinkley and there's potential for this series to go on for many books. I had no trouble reading this as a stand alone though now I want to go find the first book and read it. The events in this book do relate back to the first book but Francis gives us the necessary info and the book works as a stand alone.

The romance, while sweet, was a bit hard for me to swallow; it felt like a fantasy. Henrietta is smart, successful, spontaneous, impulsive, a bit flighty, loyal to her family even while she sees them, mostly,for who they are. But her pursuit of Jeff struck me as unlikely and hard to believe. I had no trouble seeing them together, especially as we got to know Henri more, and I'd like to see how their romance develops. It's just the hookup that I had trouble with. 

"Front Runner" was solid story telling and Felix Francis has found a reader. I'll be picking up future books by him.  

My review of Dick Francis's Bloodline by Felix Francis.

20 comments:

  1. Felix has done a fantastic job of carrying on his father's legacy of providing great reads!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

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    1. He got off to a rocky start but he's hit his stride. :)

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  2. sorry that the romance for you did not work together, it sounds like the author forced the two characters onto each other

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    1. I hadn't thought of it that way. I suppose he did but I did feel the attraction between them, it was just how they hooked up that didn't work for me.

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    2. almost feels like one of those cases where the characters took over the writing XD

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    3. That may have been the case. :D

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  3. Was she aggressive in the hook up...you have me so curious now!

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    1. Aggressive, yes in pursuing him. He was interested, that wasn't an issue. I just found her pursuit of him, the lengths she went to, unlikely.

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  4. I haven't read this author, but it sounds tempting...except for the aggressive pursuit part...LOL.

    Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

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    1. You might like these mysteries: tightly plotted, deft characterization, and good story telling.

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  5. Oh, this is Dick Francis's son ! I was wondering, you just answered my question :)

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  6. I love Dick Francis' mysteries, but haven't read any by his son. You've got me intrigued now, Bea.

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    1. His first on his own were rough but then he found his voice.

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  7. Sounds like something hubby and I would both like. I'm adding the 1st book to the TBR. Great review, Bea!

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    1. I love the Francis books, so good.

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  8. Sorry it fell apart in some places. Maybe it would've been better if the author didn't add the romance and just focused on the other plot drivers.

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    1. It was still a good book. I have high standards where a Francis book is concerned. :)

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  9. Interesting! I'm glad you feel Felix has come into his own. I haven't read a new Francis book in quite a while because I sort of . . . I don't know, lost interest as Felix took over? But it might be time to try again. I do love many of the classic Dick Francis titles.

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    1. I'd say skip the first few he did and start with the Hinkley books. They feel like his father's book yet written in Felix's own voice.

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