Dick Francis– 10 lb. Penalty

Dick Francis– 10 lb. Penalty

This Dick Francis novel differs from most other Francis books in two significant ways: the story unfolds over a period of 5 years and at its heart there are two Protagonists: George and Benedict (Ben) Juliard, father and son respectively.

It is still told in the classic Francis fashion ie.first person narative and follows the fortunes of the father through the eyes of the son.

George Julliard, an aspiring politician ia attempting to win the fictitious Dorset seat of Hoopwestern in a by-election. Ben Julliard, an aspiring jockey, is enlisted to help with the campaign under circumstances not of his choosing. It doesn't take long for Ben to become an integral part of the team in more ways than one as skull-duggery comes to the fore and from then on we find ourselves in familiar Francis territory.

This isn't one of my favourite Dick Francis books and I would have initially hesitated to recommend this to readers unfamiliar with his work, however, I have read a couple of reviews of this book by first time Francis readers, "Dick virgins" if you will, and they seem to have really enjoyed it so that shows what I know.

Seasoned Francis readers may find this a little meandering. It is a character drama rather than the fast paced thrillers we're used to consequently I am not in a hurry to re-read it.

This novel finishes my research into the authenticity of Dick Francis as a writer and has satisfied me that it was he and not his wife that produced the almost forty novels that bear his name.

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