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Odds Against [School & Library Binding]

Dick Francis
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 2000 0613280040 978-0613280044
When he wakes up in hospital with his stomach shot full of holes, private detective and former steeplechase jockey, Sid Halley has his first case for a longtime. Taken to convalesce at his father-in-law's house, Sid encounters overbearing entrepreneur, Howard Kraye, a man determined to take over Seabury Racecourse - at any price. As Sid delves deeper into Kraye's shady past of violence, fraud and brutality, he finds that a bullet in the gut may turn out to the least of his problems.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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About the Author

DICK FRANCIS has written 37 international best-sellers and is widely acclaimed as one of the world's finest thriller writers. His awards include the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger for best novel. In 1996, the Mystery Writers of American madehim Grand Master for a lifetime's achievement. MARTIN JARVIS has appeared in many plays and films, including JAMES CAMERON's TITANIC. In 1995 he received the British Talkies Award for Performer of the Year. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Francis Rides Again July 23 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Francis' third book, written back in the mid-Sixties, though still a great read (curious reference to The Beatles is the only jarring reminder of its time), and a wonderful example of how quickly Francis picked up his new craft. If he was as fluent, smooth, and skillful jockey as he is writer he must, indeed, have been great. This book first introduces Sid Halley, one of Francis' two recurring heroes, the jockey-turned-detective with a damaged left hand. Halley has been drifting through life since his career-ending injury; a further injury (caused by a bullet) and the not so subtle intervention of his father-in-law bring a change to his attitude, a radically different outlook, and a desire to work effectively and properly at his new job. He is badly frightened, and physically damaged ~ two things Francis excells at writing, his fear, especially, is thoroughly convincing ~ but succeeds in both defeating the baddies and renewing his life.
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5.0 out of 5 stars McShane's voice is perfect for this narration Dec 2 2002
Format:Audio Cassette
I give ***** to the verson read by Ian McShane (avoid the other readers). I enjoyed McShane's read voice. Some actor/readers, try to act took much when they read - I mean males doing higher voices for females are such a pain. McShane give the right tone, a narrator and is it an enjoyed voice that carries you vividly into the world of ex-jockey Sid Halley. Injured in a riding accident, he now is a Enquiry agent/security expert that is looking into the strange accidents happening and Seabury Race Course.
Dick Francis' writing, quite naturally, is excellent, though it is McShane excellent narration that has me listening to this tape again and again. I have given it several times and gifts and recommended it to friends. All have thanked me for the enjoy listen.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  28 reviews
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Francis Rides Again July 23 2000
By Elsie Wilson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Francis' third book, written back in the mid-Sixties, though still a great read (curious reference to The Beatles is the only jarring reminder of its time), and a wonderful example of how quickly Francis picked up his new craft. If he was as fluent, smooth, and skillful jockey as he is writer he must, indeed, have been great. This book first introduces Sid Halley, one of Francis' two recurring heroes, the jockey-turned-detective with a damaged left hand. Halley has been drifting through life since his career-ending injury; a further injury (caused by a bullet) and the not so subtle intervention of his father-in-law bring a change to his attitude, a radically different outlook, and a desire to work effectively and properly at his new job. He is badly frightened, and physically damaged ~ two things Francis excells at writing, his fear, especially, is thoroughly convincing ~ but succeeds in both defeating the baddies and renewing his life.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars McShane's voice is perfect for this narration Dec 2 2002
By Deborah MacGillivray - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio Cassette|Verified Purchase
I give ***** to the verson read by Ian McShane (avoid the other readers). I enjoyed McShane's read voice. Some actor/readers, try to act took much when they read - I mean males doing higher voices for females are such a pain. McShane give the right tone, a narrator and is it an enjoyed voice that carries you vividly into the world of ex-jockey Sid Halley. Injured in a riding accident, he now is a Enquiry agent/security expert that is looking into the strange accidents happening and Seabury Race Course.
Dick Francis' writing, quite naturally, is excellent, though it is McShane excellent narration that has me listening to this tape again and again. I have given it several times and gifts and recommended it to friends. All have thanked me for the enjoy listen.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of his early novels Aug. 28 2007
By Fred Camfield - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is one of the author's early novels and the first one in the series about ex-jockey turned PI Sid Halley. This novel introduces the character, his past, his father-in-law, his work associates, etc. The first three novels about Halley, Odds Against, Whip Hand, and Come to Grief, can also be found in the combined omnibus edition, Win, Place, or Show. The novel is very good and has survived the test of time, i.e., it is still an interesting plot 40 years after it was written.

Sid Halley came from an impoverished background and had to leave school as a teenager. He was apprenticed as a jockey and by the time he was 18 her was a success. He made good investments and is also moderately wealthy. An accident ended his career as a jockey, and he has been employed, more or less, in a PI firm. Events lead him into a case involving an unscrupulous businessman who is trying to acquire racetrack property for personal profit. Like many businesses, the assets (in this case land) are undervalued in relation to the stock price, making a racetrack a takeover target.

There are some surprises as the story progresses. The novel deals with adult situations. There is little sexual content, mostly by reference, but considerable violence.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New Career Nov. 18 2007
By Nash Black - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A 38 slug enters Sid Haley's side and he is jerked out of a deep depression as he has watched his arm, his career and marriage ground under flashing hooves. Thus Dick Frances introduces one of his most popular characters in ODDS AGAINST.
Sid is working in a detective agency at the instigation of his ex-father-in-law, while trying to put his life of steeplechasing behind him. A small set up goes haywire and Sid is pitched into the world of racing from the outside of the rail. A job he thinks he hates until it is almost destroyed.
Fast action, great prose, tense drama, and the reader enters Sid's world. Mystery fiction at its best, told by a master of the genre.
Nash Black, author of TRAVELERS and SINS OF THE FATHERS.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great beginning to his trilogy! Oct. 25 2010
By Amanda D. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have searched high and low for this book for years before I finally found it online - for some reason it seems to have gone out of print and every copy at the library is always checked out! It's the beginning to his Sid Halley trilogy - the only trilogy ever done by Dick Francis. Great book, although I do believe he re-used some of the elements in other books - or I read the book a long, long time ago and don't remember. As always, Francis leaves you guessing until the end! He is one of the few authors I have found that I cannot always predict who did it and why - the reasons are almost as great as the person who did it! Definitely recommend it, as I do with all of his books - and this series just gets better!
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