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If you love Dick Francis, you'll love "Reflex." His lead character is reliably male, reliably decent, and reliably gets smashed up in the process of solving a racehorse-related mystery. If what you want is a reliable Dick Francis novel, this is one of his best. The narration by Simon Pebble is wonderful.
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Dick Francis' novels generally follow a set formula of a well developed main character who may or may not be a horse racing/steeplechasing jockey and some sort of mysterious and dangerous situation. Francis has an ingenious way of weaving bits and pieces of seemingly random events and subplots into one brilliant, fascinating and entertaining story. I think this might be my favorite one so far.
This novel is about an aging-out jockey, Phillip Nore, who is contemplating what he will do after retirement in a couple of years. He had a checkered childhood of growing up in various households of his mother's friends where she leaves him for a "few days" promising to return - the days turns into weeks, months, and years. One of his "foster parents" had given him a camera which became a part of his everyday life and his saving grace throughout this story. Phillip is thinking about retiring and wondering about his future when his amateur photographer status becomes the focus of this story after a disliked but well-known professional racing photographer is killed in a car crash. Nore accidentally comes into possession of the dead man's records, photos and negatives upon which he uses sophisticated photography techniques to uncover the schemes behind blackmail, murder and mayhem.
Simon Prebble is the best!
15 of 16 people found this review helpful