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For Kicks [Unabridged] [Paperback]

Dick Francis
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Paperback, Unabridged, June 6 2008 --  
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Book Description

June 6 2008

Common sense said that the whole idea was crazy... but when offered huge sums of money to move to England and help the Earl of October uncover a suspected racehorse dope scandal, Danny Roke finds the proposal intriguing.

Swapping his job as proprietor of an Australian stud farm to work undercover as a stable hand in Yorkshire, Danny soon has his hands full. Whilst the Earl’s attractive daughters Patricia and Elinor draw his attention, he finds himself ever more deeply involved with the vicious swindlers he is out to entrap. And if neither the money nor the swindle will keep his mind on the job, maybe the death of the Earl’s original investigator, Tommy Stapleton, will...


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Review

Unbeatable Daily Mirror Dick Francis's fiction has a secret ingredient - his inimitable knack of grabbing the reader's attention on page one and holding it tight until the very end Sunday Telegraph --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Dick Francis has written more than forty 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 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 was awarded the CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. Sadly he died in 2010.


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A good quick read. March 7 2001
Format:School & Library Binding
For Kicks by Dick Francis. Pocket Books 1965
Good quick read.
In this, one of Francis' earlier books, Daniel Roke, and Australian, is hired by the Earl of October to try and discover how someone is fixing races by drugging the winners with an untraceable drug.. To do this he masquerades as a stable boy and shifts from horse yard to horse yard until he discovers who is doing it and finally how it is being done. In doing so, Daniel places himself and Elinor, the young daughter of the Earl of October, at considerable risk. In a final confrontation with the bad guys Daniel overcomes his adversaries but is thrown in jail accused of murder to await the return of the Earl of October.
Like most of Francis' protagonists, Daniel is youngish, handsome, honest beyond measure and quite capable at a number of things useful to someone working with horses. A sub plot to the main story is the wrongful accusation of Daniel by the older Earl's daughter of sexual abuse and his growing involvement with the younger.
To the seasoned Francis reader, this book does not have too much depth but like all Francis mysteries, a joy to read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A very good book July 9 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I found this book to be consistant with Francis's style. I enjoyed the plot, mostly because it is not quite the typical Francis book,perhaps because it is one of his earlier books. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and the mystery Daniel had to solve. I would definitely reccomend this book to both Francis fans and new readers of his work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best!! April 24 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have read all the Dick Francis books and I have 3 favorites. This one, Enquiry, and Bolt. I have read this book at least 8 times and I think it is awesome! It is so perfectly written. Everyone who hasn't read this book should read it!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Blazing Suspense Nov. 27 1997
By A Customer
Format:Audio Cassette
This was the first of the Dick Francis I read and it was stupendious. One definitely will develop a great amount of respect of this Author on reading his work. This book is strongly recommended for exciting and light reading.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  26 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of my two or three favorite Dick Francis' novels Sept. 12 2006
By clifford - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
You have to have read a couple of Dick Francis' novels before you understand the author. In a way he stands alone, for as far as I can tell he has not overtly used other writers styles and no contemporary writer has used Francis as a primary influence. All of Francis' books follow a similar arc, from one to the next, you know exactly what you will get. But in a strange way, this is not bothersome, instead it is like revisiting an old familiar and comfortable place.

Francis' books are not in a series format. He only uses the same character for a second time once. In his first ten or so books, he uses a particular jockey to set his story around. And later he finds people of different professions that have racing interests to center stories around. This book, "For Kicks" is from the transitional phase, the late 60's, early 70's. It tells the story of Daniel Roke, a trainer from Australia who is hired to uncover a doping ring that is not being detected through traditional meathods. Its a pretty simple story, and like all of Francis' work it is refreshingly understated. With James Patterson and Patricia Cornwells mamoth body counts and terrorising serial killers, or end of the world scenarios ala Tom Clancy and too many others influencing todays reading lists, its amazing to see how much quiet tension builds up in Francis' stories.

I would highly recommend Francis to anyone. Its a fun world to live in for a while, where all of England revolves around the racing world... every other profesion comes second. I remember how much I loathed the idea of Francis before I first read him and I laugh now at my perception of what his books would be about. I mean, how can one author base a huge series of mysteries on racing horses? Dick Francis does so quite well.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth rereading May 15 2007
By Book lover -Philadelphia - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I agree completely with the other reviewers. This is a terrific suspense novel that happens to give insight into British racing, the class system and each and every character. While I have read all the Dick Francis books, this is the one that I go back to and reread every year or so. Its quiet, understated tone still builds up to suspense and excitement.

His earlier books (like this one) are the best, as far as I am concerned, and the most recent one or two are not worth reading.

p.s. On a visit to England, I took great joy in going to Newmarket and watching the horses out for practice early in the morning. It felt as if I was in the middle of a Dick Francis book. My husband and daughter, also fans, felt the same.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still great entertainment Feb. 25 2006
By Elizabeth Chamberlin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Intellectuals may scorn him, moderns may call him dated, but they don't know what they're missing. You can always depend on Dick Francis for engrossing adventure with just the right amount of philosophical underpinnings. Enjoy!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best!! April 24 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have read all the Dick Francis books and I have 3 favorites. This one, Enquiry, and Bolt. I have read this book at least 8 times and I think it is awesome! It is so perfectly written. Everyone who hasn't read this book should read it!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good quick read. March 7 2001
By Glenn McLeod - Published on Amazon.com
Format:School & Library Binding
For Kicks by Dick Francis. Pocket Books 1965
Good quick read.
In this, one of Francis' earlier books, Daniel Roke, and Australian, is hired by the Earl of October to try and discover how someone is fixing races by drugging the winners with an untraceable drug.. To do this he masquerades as a stable boy and shifts from horse yard to horse yard until he discovers who is doing it and finally how it is being done. In doing so, Daniel places himself and Elinor, the young daughter of the Earl of October, at considerable risk. In a final confrontation with the bad guys Daniel overcomes his adversaries but is thrown in jail accused of murder to await the return of the Earl of October.
Like most of Francis' protagonists, Daniel is youngish, handsome, honest beyond measure and quite capable at a number of things useful to someone working with horses. A sub plot to the main story is the wrongful accusation of Daniel by the older Earl's daughter of sexual abuse and his growing involvement with the younger.
To the seasoned Francis reader, this book does not have too much depth but like all Francis mysteries, a joy to read.
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