Dead Heat
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Dead Heat : Horse Racing Thriller

By (author) Dick Francis , By (author) Felix Francis

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'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.

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  • Hardback | 384 pages
  • 154 x 232 x 38mm | 721.21g
  • 06 Sep 2007
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • Michael Joseph Ltd
  • London
  • 0718153650
  • 9780718153656
  • 537,670

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Author Information

Dick Francis (Author) Dick Francis was one of the most successful post-war National Hunt jockeys. The winner of over 350 races, he was champion jockey in 1953/1954 and rode for HM Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, most famously on Devon Loch in the 1956 Grand National. On his retirement from the saddle, he published his autobiography, The Sport of Queens, before going on to write forty-three bestselling novels, a volume of short stories (Field of 13), and the biography of Lester Piggott. During his lifetime Dick Francis received many awards, amongst them the prestigious Crime Writers' Association's Cartier Diamond Dagger for his outstanding contribution to the genre, and three 'best novel' Edgar Allan Poe awards from The Mystery Writers of America. In 1996 he was named by them as Grand Master for a lifetime's achievement. In 1998 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List of 2000. Dick Francis died in February 2010, at the age of eighty-nine, but he remains one of the greatest thriller writers of all time. Felix Francis (Author) FELIX FRANCIS studied Physics and Electronics at London University and then embarked upon a 17 year career teaching Advanced Level physics. Felix Francis is the younger son of crime writer and National Hunt jockey Dick Francis, and over the past 40 years Felix assisted Dick with both the research and the writing of many of his novels. Felix's love of racing, writing talent, and knowledge and experience as a physics teacher was invaluable in the father and son writing partnership. Felix has written ten 'Francis' novels, the first Under Orders was published in 2006. Then followed Dead Heat,Silks, Even Money, Crossfire, Gamble, Bloodline, Refusal, Damage and Felix's tenth novel Front Runner.

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Review text

Legendary racing-mystery master Francis (Shattered, 2000, etc.) partners with son Felix to bring mayhem of many kinds to the Newmarket track.After a night he's spent huddled over his toilet sick as a dog, it's no consolation to restaurateur Max Moreton to learn that he hasn't been alone. Virtually everyone at the party at the Hay Net, his racing-themed restaurant, has become ill. Soon enough, longtime patrons begin to cancel their reservations; the Cambridge County Council seals his kitchen; and violist Caroline Aston, whose quartet had played at the party, announces her plans to sue him. By that time, however, Max already has bigger problems. A bomb planted in the stands at the 2,000 Guineas, a high-profile race run the day after the debacle at the Hay Net, has killed 19 and sent dozens more to the hospital. Are the two incidents connected, and if so, how? It doesn't take Max long to satisfy himself that his meal was sabotaged by the unboiled kidney beans someone introduced into a sauce that didn't call for them. But why would anyone seek to poison 250 diners the night before detonating a bomb? Working with Caroline Aston, who's morphed rapidly and improbably from legal antagonist to lover, Max focuses on the people who attended the party but not the race. Soon enough, some conscientious sleuthing and lucky breaks reveal an ingenious smuggling plot Max is determined to end - that is, if the powers arrayed against him don't succeed in killing him first by means of arson or a car crash or a polo mallet or another bomb.Clunky expository dialogue tells you more than you probably want to know about food preparation and concertizing. But the mystery is engaging, and durable Max is a worthy addition to Francis's gallery of racetrack detectives. (Kirkus Reviews)

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