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Authors: Dick Francis

Longshot

BOOK: Longshot
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Table of Contents
 
 
"Dick Francis is a wonder... A tight,
taut thriller... Gripping.”

The Cleveland Plain Dealer
LONGSHOT
Desperate for money, travel guide writer John Kendell accepts an assignment to interview a successful racehorse trainer in rural England. Used to traversing harsh terrain with little thought to his safety to get his facts straight, Kendell discovers that the English countryside is full of unexpected dangers of its own.
And the closer Kendell gets to the truth about his subject, the less chance he has of surviving . . .
 
“Fast-paced, meticulously plotted . . . Nobody sets up a mystery better than Dick Francis.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
 
“Longshot
shows Francis still at the peak... The story sustains suspense to the final pages.”
—Chicago Sun-Times
 
“An exuberant, irresistible collision between writing and racing... Few match Francis for dangerous flights of fancy and pure, inventive menace.”
—Boston Herald
 
“Exciting.”
—The Baltimore Sun
 
“The ex-jockey proves, once again, that he hasn’t lost his sense of balance—or his desire for a strong finish.”

Chicago Tribune
 
“[Francis’ ] track record surpasses all contenders . . .
Longshot
delivers with all the speed and form we’ve come to expect from him.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer
 
“Writing in typically fine form, Francis’s
Longshot
is a sure shot with fans.”—
New York Daily News
“Francis creates a cast of vivid characters, hides the killer’s identity nicely, and works his descriptions of survival skills into the story smoothly.”
—The Seattle Times
 
“Dick Francis has done it again... Every time we read a new Dick Francis we marvel anew at what an amazingly good writer he is and how effortless he is to read.
Longshot
is one of his most appealing stories ever.”

The Denver Post
 
“Great racing and horse-breeding details, wonderful characteristics, and a good dash of wit.”
—Cosmopolitan
 
“Francis does a better job of imparting how things work for the upper class in the United Kingdom today than most sociologists. And he does it with imagery rivaling the work of a good landscape painter.”
—Houston Chronicle
 
“Top-notch, well-researched work... The book is, as usual for Francis, a fast-moving excursion ... Francis has a knack for capturing characters, relationships, and scenes in a few brief lines—sometimes with piercing insight, more often with the simple precision that pleasantly fuels the reader’s imagination.”

The Detroit News and Free Press
 
“It’s nice to see Dick Francis, an established pro, still learning, still finding new ways to enrich his very successful formula. Long may he live and write.”
—St. Louis Post-Dispatch
 
“Francis keeps the pace going as the story takes some unexpected turns. And, not surprisingly, he brings home another winner.”
—Orlando Sentinel
 
“Francis at his best.”
—The Anniston Star
 
“Dick Francis races to the top of his form in
Longshot
. . . . One of Francis’ strengths is creating believable characters and developing their relationships with piercing insight. Combined with Francis’ humor, colorful locales, and storytelling talent, the result is a novel almost any reader—not just mystery lovers—will enjoy.”
—The Flint Journal
Rave reviews for Dick Francis
 
“[THE] MASTER OF CRIME FICTION AND EQUINE THRILLS.”

Newsday
 
“It’s either hard or impossible to read Mr. Francis without growing pleased with
yourself.
not only the thrill of vicarious competence imparted by the company of his heroes, but also the lore you collect as you go, feel like a field trip with the perfect guide.”

The New York Times Book Review
 
“One of the most reliable mystery writers working today... Francis’s secret weapons are his protagonists. They are the kind of people you want for friends.”

The Detroit News and Free Press
 
“[Francis] has the uncanny ability to turn out simply plotted yet charmingly addictive mysteries.”

The Wall Street Journal
 
“A rare and magical talent... who never writes the same story twice... Few writers have maintained such a high standard of excellence for as long as Dick Francis.”

The San Diego Union-Tribune
 
“Few things are more convincing than Dick Francis at a full gallop.”

Chicago Tribune
 
“Francis just gets better and better.... It can’t be as easy as he makes it look, or all mystery writers would be as addictive.”

The Charlotte Observer
 
“After writing dozens of thrillers, Dick Francis always retains a first-novel freshness.”

The Indianapolis Star
 
“He writes about the basic building blocks of life—obligation, honor, love, courage, and pleasure. Those discussions come disguised in adventure novels so gripping that they cry out to be read in one gulp—then quickly reread to savor the details skipped in the first gallop through the pages.”

Houston Chronicle
 
“Dick Francis stands head and shoulders above the rest.”

Ottawa Citizen
Fiction by Dick Francis & Felix Francis
 
EVEN MONEY SILKS DEAD HEAT
 
Fiction by Dick Francis
UNDER ORDERS
SHATTERED
SECOND WIND
FIELD OF THIRTEEN
10 LB. PENALTY
TO THE HILT
COME TO GRIEF
WILD HORSES
DECIDER
DRIVING FORCE
COMEBACK
LONGSHOT
STRAIGHT
THE EDGE
HOT MONEY
BOLT
BREAK IN
PROOF
THE DANGER
BANKER
TWICE SHY
REFLEX
WHIP HAND
TRIAL RUN
RISK
IN THE FRAME
HIGH STAKES
KNOCKDOWN
SLAY RIDE
SMOKESCREEN
BONECRACK
RAT RACE
ENQUIRY
FORFEIT
BLOOD SPORT
FLYING FINISH
ODDS AGAINST
FOR KICKS
NERVE
DEAD CERT
Anthology
 
WIN, PLACE, OR SHOW
 
Nonfiction
 
A JOCKEY’S LIFE THE SPORT OF QUEENS
THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Group (USA) Inc. 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R ORL, England
Penguin Group Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland
(a division of Penguin Books Ltd.)
Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia
(a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.)
Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi—110 017, India Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632, New Zealand
(a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.)
Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa
 
Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R ORL, England
 
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
 
LONGSHOT
 
A Berkley Book / published by arrangement with the author
 
PRINTING HISTORY
Ballantine Books edition / April 1992
Berkley mass-market edition / May 2010
 
Copyright © 1990 by Dick Francis.
 
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
 
eISBN : 978-1-101-40433-1
 
BERKLEY®
Berkley Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
BERKLEY® is a registered trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. The “B” design is a trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
 
 
 

http://us.penguingroup.com

With love to Jocelyn Matthew
Bianca
Timothy
William
Our grandchildren
And acknowledgments to
The SAS Survival Handbook
by John Wiseman
and
No Need to Die
by Eddie McGee
1
I
accepted a commission that had been turned down by four other writers, but I was hungry at the time. Although starving in a garret had seemed a feasible enough plan a year earlier, the present realities of existence under the frozen eaves of a friend’s aunt’s house in a snowy January were such that without enough income to keep well fed and warm I was a knockover for a risky decision.
My state of course was my own fault. I could easily have gone out looking for paid muscular employment. I didn’t have to sit shivering in a ski suit, biting the end of a pencil, hunched over a notebook, unsure of myself, of my ability and of the illuminations crashing about in my head.
The spartan discomfort was not, either, a self-pitying morass of abject failure, but more the arctic doldrums between the high elation of the recent acceptance of my first novel for publication and the distant date of its launch into literary orbit. This was the downside after the heady receipt of the first advance payment and its division into past debts, present expenses and six months’ future rent.
BOOK: Longshot
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