Bonecrack by Dick Francis
New York : Harper & Row, 1971. Second printing. Hardcover. 201 pages ; 21 cm. Foxing to the price clipped dust jacket, pages are unmarked and binding is firm.
HEYWOOD HALE BROUN says: "It's as carefully plotted as the training programs of the thoroughbreds he used to ride, and as explosive down the stretch. It's amazing how, starting from the narrow confines of the racetrack, Dick Francis has been able, in each of his novels, to provide a startling variety of people, pace, and plot."
BERNADINE KIELTY says: "What a satisfactory entertainer he is! His writing is so crisp and his humor, always there, but never forced or in gags. And enough sex to be in the mode, actually quite attractive. ... The stable, the lads,' the apprentices, the horses themselves—all more fascinating than usual."
And BING CROSBY says: "found it very good reading indeed. Full of highly knowledgeable descriptions about what goes on around a racing stable in England."
Rowley Lodge, near Newmarket, training stables for England's finest racing horses—including Archangel, who was expected to win the Derby—was owned and managed by a man named Griffon, a se¬vere, puritanical man, whose only interests in life were his stables and the horses being trained there.
He had treated his son, Neil, harshly when the boy was young, and had sent him to Eton, from which he'd run away at sixteen. Neil was now a successful businessman—his job finding out how to help other businesses in trouble—when the older Griffon and his head trainer were seriously injured in a car crash.
Neil, though he'd seen his father rarely after he'd become an adult, went hack to Rowley Lodge to watch over it until his father was out of the hospital.
One night, while Neil was going over his father's hooks, two masked men heat him up, abducted him, and introduced him to the rich, powerful, and brutal Enso Rivera, who informed Neil that his son, Alessandro, was to be taken on as a jockey at Rowley Lodge and was to ride Arch¬angel in the Derby or the stables would be destroyed.
Neil protested, and thus began a battle of wits, of mind over matter—and quite often, matter over mind.
Dick Francis in this novel pictures fathers and sons with rare insight—and pictures also the fascinating, complex world of training stables and all that goes into the winning of a major horse race.
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