Nerve by Dick Francis
New York : Harper & Row, 1964. Book club edition. Hardcover. 187 pages ; 21 cm. In original dust jacket with unmarked pages and firm binding.
ROB FINN, through a combination of luck, hard work and love for the game, is beginning to make his mark as an up-and-coming steeplechase rider. Then one of his horses takes a nasty spill, and when he rides one loser after another, people start to talk. What they are saying is that Rob Finn has lost his nerve.
But Rob thinks his horses have been drugged to make him look bad. Could there be a connection between his sudden " loss of nerve" and the suicide of another jockey? The mental breakdown of another? And the bad luck that seems to be plaguing all die local jockeys?
Those questions are answered when Rob is kidnapped, tortured, and left to die.. .by the last person anyone would suspect to be a mentally disturbed killer!
"Nerve has a thundering vitality, disturbed and subtle handling of characters, a suspenseful story.. .one lives in that strange world of horses, horsemen and high jumps, and relishes every moment of it."—Stanley Ellin
"The author constructs his suspense so skill-fully, builds his characters so firmly and, in short, writes so well that one's reaction is not, 'How can a great jockey write such a good novel?' but, rather, 'How can such an excellent novelist know so much about steeplechasing?'" — The New York Times Book Review
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