Friday, October 25, 2013

Dick Francis's Refusal (review)


Dick Francis’s Refusal by Felix Francis is a horse-racing mystery featuring Sid Halley, the character made famous by the late Dick Francis. The former jockey who is also a former investigator is happily married, has a delightful young daughter and stays in close touch with his former wife’s father. He is less than satisfied with his myoelectric left hand yet quietly content with the rest of his life until he gets inexorably drawn back into the drama that surrounds the world of racing and discovers that he is still unable to be complacent in the face of wrongdoing and bullying, despite the danger to all he holds dear. He soon discovers that he is going to need all of the resources at his command if he and his family are going to survive the threat that may destabilize the entire racing system and more importantly may result in Sid’s own destruction.

This intriguing mystery contains many of the elements that one has come to expect from this series, a definite link to horse-racing, an understated hero who is stubbornly resistant to coercion and an insidious problem that may have far-reaching consequences. I greatly enjoyed seeing Sid Halley again as I felt that I had almost come to know him during the past books and it was like seeing an old friend who has gotten married, started a family and settled into a complacent life. Sadly, his joy in his family was tempered by his ongoing dissatisfaction with his artificial limb, the lack of challenge once he quit his private investigations and his virtual rejection of the horse-racing world. Despite the fact that events transpire to force him to use his rusty skills, his tenacity and belief in the ‘right thing to do’ is showcased in this story which is a homage to the author’s late father as it continues a beloved series. Naturally, we all have our own idea of what this character should be like and although I felt that his personality in this novel was slightly less vibrant than I remember, there is the fact that he is an older (and hopefully wiser) man than he used to be and has even more to lose than ever before. I wish that his wife’s actions and attitude were a little more in keeping with her obvious intellect but she was a necessary foil although sometimes a little ponderously obtuse. This was a lovely addition to an enduring series and I look forward to other stories featuring this wonderfully tenacious and resourceful character.

© Night Owl Reviews

I received a copy of this title in return for an honest review.

Dick Francis's Refusal (Amazon link--hardcover)
Dick Francis's Refusal (Amazon link--Kindle version)


  1. Thanks for the review. I definitely enjoy reading Dick Francis works and look forward to reading this continuation.

    1. It was so much fun to get to see more of Sid's life, hope you enjoy!