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Whip Hand [Mass Market Paperback]

Dick Francis
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dec 12 2012
This "convincing and memorable"mystery is "among Dick Francis's best," says the Cincinnati Post. And we're sure readers will agree.

Ex-jockey and private investigator Sid Halley is approached by the wife of an elite racehorse trainer, begging his help in figuring out why her husband's most promising horses have been performing so poorly. At first Halley thinks she's overreacting and the losing streak is just dumb luck. But now he's beginning to think it's something far more dangerous...

* A New York Times bestselling author whose reputation is virtually unmatched among modern mystery writers

Another "first class"* thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of Field Of Thirteen.--Baltimore Sun

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From the Back Cover

There are two worlds in racing. Winning and losing. Private detective Sid Halley has gone from one to the other - fast. First his career as a jockey ended when he lost his hand in a fall. Then his wife said a cold good-bye. Now he’s on the trail of thugs who crush losers. With vicious pleasure.

These are people who aim to win - at any price. There’s a syndicate of owners with a sideline in violent kidnapping. And Trevor Deansgate, a bookmaker whose hatred of favourites goes one deathly step too far...

For the sake of his health, Halley had better return to winning ways. Because to lose is to die...

‘Superb... this is Mr Francis’s best book. And that’s high praise’ Sunday Mirror

--This text refers to the 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.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
I TOOK THE battery out of my arm and fed it into the recharger, and only realized I'd done it when ten seconds later the fingers wouldn't work. Read the first page
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Francis redeems himself... Aug. 28 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Last year, someone gave me my first Dick Francis to read, 10 LB. Penalty, which can best be described as horrid. I couldn't believe that someone as prolific as Dick Francis could sell so many books if they were of this caliber. This summer, my same friend gave me a big bag of mysteries to read, and I planned to skip Whip Hand. But as luck would have it, I ran out of books before I ran out of summer and Whip Hand was the only one left. Was I pleasantly surprised! In fact, this turned out to be the best mystery I have read all summer. The main character is Sid Halley, an ex-jockey turned PI whose small stature belies all the hidden baggage beneath. He also brings the same passion to win that he had as a jockey to his investigations. Halley has three separate mysteries dumped on him: a mail fraud, a syndicate fixing and racehorse tampering. The racehorse tampering was especially timely after spending some time in Versailles Kentucky this summer, site of the tragic and still unsolved horse tampering case. Not to give the story away, but this book is filled with action, drama, suspense, believable characters, just a little romance, and a plot that will have you guessing until the very end. Next time I receive a Dick Francis book, I will be a little more anxious to begin reading!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best of Francis' efforts Jan. 21 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Whip Hand takes us down another mystery road with Sid Halley again. You can actually read this before you read Odds Against, as I did, and still keep up with the goings on.
The reason that this is one of the best books by Dick Francis is that he keeps to his nice formula of the underrated guy kicking the bad-guys' trash because he is just tough and sharp as nails; but in addition to his formula, Francis takes us deep into Sid's character and shows us a guy we love. We root for him more than any other Francis character because we know him better and can see some of ourselves in him. The plot as always is clean with some neat twists. This is another entertaining and relatively satisfying title from an author who has mastered his art.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Return of Sid Halley, an unusual sequel March 15 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Most of Francis's books are stand-alones, but this is one of the few that is a second book about the same character. Francis has a winning formula: he writes books about a young man of around 30, in a career most people might think is boring, but which turns out to be exciting. His hero is usually taken for granted and under-appreciated by his family, and under-employed, but in the course of the book proves he is far smarter, cleverer, and more observant than anyone supposed.
Usually, there's a highly intelligent middle-aged career woman who recognizes his worth and helps him along. It's a formula, but the details that Francis provides makes it work every time.
In this second book about Sid Halley, Sid has gotten the artificial hand replacement that was talked about at the end of the previous book, Odds Against. As ever, Francis has done his research, and we find out a great deal about the science and engineering that goes into a working mechanical hand.
The biggest part of this story is not the mystery, although of course that's there, but the story of Sid coming to terms with his own courage in the face of what he fears is cowardice. One of our villians threatens to destroy Sid's remaining hand, and Sid is at first afraid that he is going to give in to that threat. But living with himself after giving in to such threats would be a problem; Sid almost accidentally decides to stand up and against evil instead, and wins out in the end.
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