I started reading Dick Francis novels again last year and have remembered how much I enjoy his work. I think the stories are a bit more engaging to me now as my son's girlfriend rides and I have now been exposed to the horseshow world peripherally. This allows me to have more of a connection to the details in the novels Francis has written. This one was written in 2007 after he had taken a break in writing and just returned to publication in the previous year.
I really enjoyed Dead Heat and the character in the lead, Max. There were several references to contemporary restaurants and chefs that made the connections to the story even stronger. I think that is one of the aspects of Francis' writing that I enjoy. He gives depth not only to his characters but also to the topics discussed in the stories. In this case, there was a great deal about running a restaurant and being a chef since that is Max's career.
There was also a great bit written about the polo scene. It was interesting to learn some of the subtleties of the sport both in its play and rules and also the descriptions of the spectators and participants. I appreciate that much of this information is conveyed either by the reflection of discovery by Max's research or conveyed through conversations with other spectators at the match. It is far more interesting than just reading a factual paragraph or two.
I found myself connecting with Max on an emotional level because his experiences and emotions were portrayed in a realistic manner. He is a civilian exposed to some extreme violence and he reacted in a manner typical to how I would expect someone to process such an experience. Rather than making him stoic and a hero we see his emotions and weaknesses which makes him that much more appealing as a character.
Overall I really enjoyed this book both based on the plot and the mystery it entailed as well as the characters. There are some graphic descriptions of the violent aftermath of a bombing so readers should be aware before reading the novel.
Dead Heat by Dick Francis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Dick Francis did it again with another suspense filled novel set amongst the horse world This one have a glimpse into the life of polo and explained some of the basics as well as some unique nuances. The storyline was well written with the various unknowns being unraveled at appropriate times. I felt the experience Max had and the way it haunted him was an realistic representation of how someone would react to the situation he found himself in. I always enjoy reading Dick Francis and this book was no exception
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The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:
- Goodreads and Reading by the Numbers #ReadingByNumbers2023 Book # 21
- Literary Escapes #LiteraryEscapes England
- Alphabet Soup Author Edition #AlphabetSoupAuthorChallenge F
- Mount TBR #MountTBR2023 Book # 2
- Back List Reader #Backlistreader Book #16
- Cloak & Dagger #CloakDaggerChal Book #15
- Six Shooter Challenge Target #42 Shot #3
- Medical Examiner Challenge 22 Toe Tags
- 52 Book Club #the52bookclub2023 #28 Includes a Funeral
- Around the Year in 52 Books #27. A book by an author from continental Europe
- Bookworm #36 Free Space! Pick any book
- Beat the Backlist #BTB2023 #49 horses. that’s the prompt.
- HP Quidditch 23 #52 Double Eight Loop: Written by multiple authors
- Nerdy Bookworm #NerdyBookwormChallengeXO #31.Read a book with two or more authors
- Nerd Daily #thenerddaily #nerdreading2023 #17. BOOK WITH ORANGE SPINE
- PopSugar #popsugarreadingchallenge #33 A book about an athlete/sport
- Pick your Poison # 66 A book with a person jumping on the cover
- Read with Allison #37 Bought Secondhand
- Sci and Nature # 8 About Science Gone Wrong
- Uncorked Reader #UncorkedReading2023
- Unruly Reader Bingo #8 Fire Drill
- Book Voyage #bookvoyagechallenge Feb Western Europe
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