Dick Francis was the master of writing the everyman hero: ordinary people thrust into extraordinary situations. It's part of the appeal for me. He always found a way to combine an interesting topic with characters you could root for, and worked them seamlessly into the world of horse racing. This time, we step into the world of finance with merchant banker Tim Ekaterin. As Tim takes on more responsibility at his family's banking house to cover for a sick colleague, he takes a chance on financing a prize-winning race horse. What follows takes on twists and turns, with some surprising revelations.
The good: I liked Tim. Like most Francis protagonists, he was a good guy, and you want everything to work out for him. The mystery kept me guessing. Just when I thought, "Oh, I totally know what's going on," another piece of the puzzle dropped and made me rethink my suppositions. The unique topic was banking, and it was an interesting look into the world of finance and how some of the decisions are made. And the racing! I love horse racing, and his books make me wish I was an English trainer, or jockey, or horse owner.
The bad: The ending was abrupt, and I felt like this book was begging for an epilogue. Minor nitpick, but still a bit disappointing. Otherwise, it was an enjoyable read for me, as always.