11.6.2012 to 27.6.2012
This was my 7th Dick Francis novel. Took a long time to complete it. The reason for the delay was a mixture of book related issues and a suddenly developed interest in movie watching.
The book deals with horse racing and placing bets thereof. When a race reporter Bert Checkov commits suicide, his friend and the protagonist of the novel, James Tyrone, while working on an article on non-starters and ante-post betting related to such non-starters, stumbles onto a scam related to such betting. This, makes the protagonist, to dig deep, following the usual fight between good and bad, and the Good coming out on top against all odds.
Now, for me, the problem with this book was that I did not have any idea whatsoever, about ante-post betting or non-starter, they were completely new words to me. I, even, had to check the INTERNET to find out what was LAMPLIGHTER.
After half the book had gone by, I finally got a grip of the connection between the races, the horses, their owners, the bets and the villain and the hero. But, in the second half the mystery element was all gone, and what remained was the fight between the good and the evil, who by then was revealed and well defined. So, any chances of a end-twist, or the actual antagonist revealing himself, was over.
This book to me is an adventure more than a thriller. The scam perpetrated by the villains is real good. Any person, who has the twin interest of horse racing and reading thrillers, will find this book engrossing and highly interesting. But sadly for me, this book at times became a boring read.