Dead Heat : Horse Racing Thriller Hardback
Part of the Francis Thriller series
'I wondered if I was dying. I wasn't afraid to die but, such was the pain in my gut, I wished it would happen soon.' The night before the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket sees the great and the good of the horse-racing community gathered for a prestigious black-tie Gala dinner.
It is a fitting testament to the glamour of the occasion that top chef Max Moreton is cooking the evening's meal.
Max is something of a celebrity in Newmarket circles.
He is founder of the racing town's favourite Michelin-starred restaurant, the Hay Net.However, spending the night retching in the throes of agony is the last thing Max expects.
But much worse is to come ...his food is suspected of putting twenty-four of the dinner guests in hospital.
Max's pride and professionalism tells him all is not as it seems.
Within hours, Max's restaurant is forcibly closed, his reputation teeters on the brink of ruin, and a court case looms.
But the day is far from over, and soon Max Moreton finds himself desperately fighting for more than just his livelihood..."Dead Heat" is the latest searing, intrigue-filled blockbuster from the Grand Master of thriller writing.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 384 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 06/09/2007
- Category: Thriller / suspense
- ISBN: 9780718153656
Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.
Review by JustAGirl
The new hardback from the master of British mystery writing (with the help, this time, of his son Felix). A classic page-turner set in the worlds of restaurants and horse-racing; plot twists abound as the hero tries to figure out who poisoned a dinner of 250 people, blew up a racing dinner, and tries to avoid being killed himself.
Review by pmarshall
I have new respect for Dick Francis and his craft. Reading his novels one at a time as they were published provided entertainment, reading them as a body of work provided new insights, knowledge, and appreciation of his work. His objective was always to entertain the reader and to have horses somewhere in the story but you can also learn from his work. His research is meticulous, for example for “Flying Finish” which is about the air transporting of horses he and his wife Mary went on a run to Milan. He helped care for the horses, she took pictures and notes.For the research for “Rat Race,” which involves an air taxi service for jockeys, Mary Francis started taking flying lessons. She continued them when the research was complete and got her license and for eleven years was part owner of a similar air taxi service. Many of Francis’ titles just touch on horses and focus on other occupations. In “Straight” jockey Derek Franklin suddenly inherits his brother’s semiprecious stone importing business and must keep the business running and find one hundred missing diamonds. The information on how diamonds are bought and sold is most interesting. He also deals with social problems like alcoholism. In “Knockdown” Jonah Dereham’s brother is an alcoholic. The understanding of alcoholism as a disease and the necessary strength to overcome it is part of the background of this mystery about bloodstock agents.It is interesting to note how many of his characters are loners e.g., Gene Hawkins in"Blood Sport," Sid Halley, Matt Shore in "Rat Race," without families. Another theme, which runs through his books, is that children are good observers ("Shattered," "Decider," "Blood Sport") and more should be made of asking them what they saw. Francis is also a romantic and although in his autobiography “The Sport of Queens” he says he doesn’t believe in love at first sight it happened to him when he was introduced to Mary. “Mary and I smiled at each other and to my astonishment, before we had even spoken, I found myself thinking, ‘This is my wife.’” At one time Francis wanted to have Mary’s name added to his as author of the books but she demurred at the suggestion. However there is no doubt that the work was a partnership. His last three titles were written with his son Felix.All in all Dick Francis provides a good read, interesting characters against a variety of backgrounds and a problem to be solved and, in many cases. something for the reader to learn.
Review by TheoClarke
Continuing the successful formula, Francis pere-et-fils explore slightly milieux: polo and restaurants. Gordon Ramsey is rewarded for his advice with extensive references to him and to his restaurants. Presumably the authors already knew enough of polo to make no such use of anyone from that fraternity. A typical Francis thriller that suggests that the baton is being passed safely.
Review by smik
Mass poisoning is every chef's nightmare and a black tie gala dinner at Newmarket on the eve of the 2,000 Guineas a most unlikely occasion. And follow that up with the explosion of a bomb at the races on the day itself.Max Moreton is the Michelin chef whose reputation is in tatters after the dinner, his Newmarket restaurant is closed, and then many of the clientele for whom he is catering, and one of his staff, are killed in the bomb explosion. Max is determined to find out how the food poisoning occurred, certain that it wasn't his food that caused it. And when things begin to happen as he asks questions, he begins to wonder whether the two events are connected.DEAD HEAT is good reading, a page turner with a credible chain of events, and background details that tell you it is written by authors who know their stuff: this time long acknowledged master Dick Francis together with his son Felix. Felix's role as researcher and in writing this and other recent novels is acknowledged in the blurb.I've been reading Dick Francis for decades. He has written forty-one international bestsellers and is widely acclaimed as one of the world's finest thriller writers. His awards include the Crime Writers' Association's Cartier Diamond Dagger for his outstanding contribution to the crime genre, and an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Tufts University of Boston. In 1996 Dick Francis was made a Mystery Writers of America Grand Master for a lifetime's achievement and in 2000 he received a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.