Smokescreen by Dick Francis
New York : Harper & Row, 1972. First US Edition. Hardcover. 213 pages ; 21 cm. $5.95 dust jacket, pages are unmarked, and binding is firm.
Evan Pentelow was, as everyone knew, a tough director, who demanded a great deal of everyone involved (including the star) when he was making a picture. Pentelow's most recent picture was Man in o Car (they had been on location in Spain), and its star was the world famous, much admired Edward Lincoln, who sometimes wondered if he'd survive the experience. He did—and went home to rest up and to see his wife and his children.
He'd been home only briefly when Nerissa, who'd been a cross between godmother, aunt, and guardian to Edward, phoned, and asked him if he'd go to South Africa for her—to check on her racehorses there.
Nerissa said to Edward: "You do know about racing. You know what goes on in a stable, and things like that You could see, couldn't you, if there's something wrong with their training? And then, of course, you are so good at investigating things."
I've never investigated anything in my life," Edward said. "Nerissa, you've been seeing my films. Those investigating supermen, they're just acting."
But Nerissa said, "Don't be silly, Ed-ward, dear. You couldn't do all the things you do in films without being brave and determined and very clever at finding things out"
So in the end, Edward went to South Africa—where, it turned out, he had to be all the things, and more, that Nerissa expected of him.
DICK FRANCIS has won himself a large audience in the United States. This novel —one of his most exciting—should delight those readers who await each new book of his eagerly.
"A supersized action-suspense story. . . . This should win eased up—it's the most of the very best." —Kirkus Reviews
"The talented Mr. Francis is in fine form in a mystery with an interestingly different setting—the racing world of South Africa.. . . Perhaps the most interesting thing of all, however, is Mr. Francis's deft handling of the character of a celebrity, constantly in the limelight and on stage." —BARBARA BANNON, Publishers Weekly
"He always tells a good sound story with enormous suspense build-up that never insults your intelligence. And this hero— a movie star who is his own detective— will probably go down as his best creation." —BERNARDINE KIELTY
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