Dick Francis’s Refusal (Sid Halley, #5) by Felix Francis Download (read online) free eBook (PDF ePub Kindle)

Dick Francis's Refusal (Sid Halley, #5)

Dick Francis’s beloved investigator Sid Halley returns in the riveting new mystery by New York Times–bestselling author Felix Francis.

Six years ago, investigator Sid Halley retired for good. He’d been harassed, beaten, shot, even lost a hand to his investigating business, and enough was enough. For the sake of his wife and new daughter he gave up that life of danger and un

Six years ago, investigator Sid Halley retired for good. He’d been harassed, beaten, shot, even lost a hand to his investigating business, and enough was enough. For the sake of his wife and new daughter he gave up that life of danger and uncertainty, and he thought nothing would ever lure him back into the game.

He thought wrong. Sir Richard Stewart, chairman of the racing authority, begs Sid to investigate a series of dodgy races. Sid adamantly refuses, but the following day, Sir Richard is found dead under suspicious circumstances. And then a man with an Irish accent contacts Sid, telling him to deliver a whitewashed report about the suspected race-fixing . . . or else.

At first Sid ignores these warnings, knowing that once he submits to this criminal bully, he will forever be under his control. But as the intimidation tactics escalate—and Sid’s own family comes under threat—Sid realizes he must meet his enemy head-on . . . or he might pay the ultimate price for his refusal.
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    Harry

    Oct 05, 2013

    rated it
    really liked it

    Book Review

    Refusal is Felix’s second novel written alone without his father (Gamble being the first). I wonder what this must be like for Felix, to have spent all those years (40 of them) collaborating with his mother and father on the Dick Francis books, and driven by a desire to honor his father’s legacy and his mother’s inspiration, all those mornings at the breakfast table perspiring on what the actual damage of a bullet might be when entering a human body, what the physics were behind the t

    Refusal is Felix’s second novel written alone without his father (Gamble being the first). I wonder what this must be like for Felix, to have spent all those years (40 of them) collaborating with his mother and father on the Dick Francis books, and driven by a desire to honor his father’s legacy and his mother’s inspiration, all those mornings at the breakfast table perspiring on what the actual damage of a bullet might be when entering a human body, what the physics were behind the trajectory of a bullet, sharing his father’s love for British horse racing, only to have to do this all alone today with only the memory of his father and mother to inspire him forward? This cannot be easy and only speaks to the fortitude of the son.

     photo Steeplechaselanding_zpsd3656477.jpg
    Steeplechase horse racing

    Gamble, Felix’s only previous novel written solo, displays a slight anxiety at being handed the reins to a horse previously ridden only by his father. The prose was slightly more formulaic than his father’s prose, not as velvety smooth. Gamble did not yet display the best years of Felix’s life. Refusal on the other hand has rapidly accelerated the horse, has circumvented difficult turns on the steeple chase run, and shows Felix’s confidence building, growing towards the ideal set by his father. The slight difference in style (remembering this is a family business) is near invisible; the story as true as any returning hero’s story should be.

    Refusal brings back Sid Halley, retired PI for over 6 years now, into the world of steeplechase horse racing. Engaging a familiar theme developed by his father – evil exists because we let it exist, it is powerless on its own – Felix examines the problem of what to do with a bully. To right a wrong demands risk and witness how Sid Halley weighs each in this, the second of the Felix Francis novels.

    Enjoy! I did.
    ————————————————————-
    series Review

     photo francisFelix_zps60dbd76a.jpg
    Felix and Dick Francis

    To speak about Felix Francis I must mention Dick Francis, his father. To not do so would be a gross oversight and a complete misrepresentation of the Felix novels. To speak about Felix I would have to mention his family’s business: the co-authoring of mystery novels. Craftsmen pass down their knowledge to their children; the Japanese tea ceremony is passed down from generation to generation; but to say that authors of fiction see their art, and their heroes, as a family business is quite out of the ordinary. Authors do not normally share credit for their work and certainly don’t see their novels as a family business: literally. And yet, the Francis family sees it just so.

    Felix remembers almost 40 years of sitting around the Francis breakfast table where the production of a Francis novel took place: always a mixture of perspiration, inspiration, and more importantly, team work. But it wasn’t until Dick’s wife, Mary Francis, died that Felix took over all research and co-authoring duties and made the decision to quit his 17 year academic career teaching advanced Physics in 3 schools the last while acting as head of the science department at Bloxom school, Oxfordshire.

     photo marydickfrancis_zps3fb8973a.jpg
    Mary and Dick Francis

    What is there to say about Dick Francis? As I think about all of his books (yes, I have read all 40 of them: twice) 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. Although Dick Francis was a horse jockey himself, the heroes in his mystery novels 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. And to my mind as I read reviews here on GR where heroes are always flawed, or where literary works concentrate on a rather malevolent view of reality reading a Francis novel is like listening to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons: classical music cleanses me and reaffirms my basic view that the world is good: reading a Francis novel accomplishes much the same.

    Felix’s partnership, in particular as a knowledgeable resource with his famous father can be seen in Twice Shy where Dick Francis draws upon Felix’s knowledge of Physics, or, Felix’s past as an international marksman in Shattered or Under Orders.

    After the death in 2000 of Mary Francis, his wife of 53 years and a close collaborator on his books, Mr. Francis expressed doubts that he would ever write another novel. “She was the moving force behind my writing,” he said. “I don’t think I shall write again other than letters now. So much of my work was her.”

    This is when Felix, the son, stepped into the picture full time to help his devastated father. Regardless, it wasn’t until six years later that Dick Francis’s last novel as a solo author, Under Orders, would see publication. All novels written after this period featured Felix as the co-author: and for the first time Dead Heat, Silks, and Even Money were published as a collaboration between father and son.

    Francis’s heroes are rational human beings. The choices made are rational choices directed by a firm objective philosophy that belies all of Francis’s novels. The dialogue is clear and touched with humor no matter the intensity of evil that the hero faces. The hero’s thoughts reveal a vulnerability that is touching, while the hero’s actions are always based on doing the right thing to achieve justice.

    Causing the reader to deeply care about the characters in a novel is a difficult thing to do. No such worries in a Francis novel. The point of view is first person, you are the main character as you read the story. The hero is personable, likable, non-violent but delivering swift justice with his mind rather than through physical means. This is not to say that violence is a stranger to our hero. Some of it staggering and often delivered by what we would otherwise think of normal persons living in British society.

    When Dick Francis passed away at the age of 89 in 2010, Felix Francis did the right thing: he set himself to continuing the saga started by his father: the implicit promise to his father’s readers being: “the Francis novels will continue to be published, one each year as has been the tradition of my father.” Since his father’s death, and in order to honor his father’s legacy, Felix continues to publish the novels written solely by him under his father’s name with himself as co-author.

    I personally deeply mourned the passing of Dick Francis. I grew up with his novels, I came to love the world of Steeple Chase racing because of Dick Francis. I grew a fondness for horses, stables, trainers and the people who live in that world. I understood the broader implications: that courage and integrity are our hallmark as human beings, that evil can only exist because we let it exist – it is impotent all on its own. I do think that one crucial aspect of art is its ability to portray a world as it ought to be and often lament that not enough is done in this vein outside of science fiction, as opposed to portraying the world as it is. What moves us forward are visions of clarity and hope as encompassed in a world that can be…and if we fail to give readers this vision, we remain in the quagmire of what is.

    You, the potential reader, will likely read the books, devouring one after the other. The Francis family has a lot of novels for your reading pleasure and the world is a better place for it.

    Thank you, Felix, for continuing your family’s saga.

    …more