Saturday, May 19, 2018

Book Review: Triple Crown by Felix Francis

Triple Crown
Author: Felix Francis
Series: Dick Francis (Book 6)
Publication: G.P. Putnam's Sons; 1st Edition edition (October 11, 2016)

Description: Jefferson Hinkley is back in the newest thriller in the Dick Francis tradition, this time on a special mission to the United States to investigate a conspiracy involving the biggest horse races in the country.

Jeff Hinkley, investigator for the British Horseracing Authority, has been seconded to the US Federal Anti-Corruption in Sports Agency (FACSA) where he has been asked to find a mole in their organization—an informant who is passing on confidential information to those under suspicion in American racing.  At the Kentucky Derby, Jeff joins the FACSA team in a raid on a horse trainer’s barn at Churchill Downs, but the bust is a disaster, and someone ends up dead.  Then, on the morning of the Derby itself, three of the most favored horses in the field fall sick. 

These suspicious events can be no coincidence. In search of answers, Jeff goes undercover as a groom on the backstretch at Belmont Park racetrack in New York. But he discovers far more than he was bargaining for: corrupt individuals who will stop at nothing—including murder—to capture the most elusive prize in world sport, the Triple Crown.

My Thoughts: Jeff Hinkley is on leave from the BHA to assist the US Federal Anti-Corruption in Sports Agency to try to track down a mole. Someone is horse racing division is tipping off the trainers that a raid is coming leaving FACSA unsuccessful and looking bad too. He begins a secret investigation of the special agents in the horse racing division. Then Jeff tags along on a raid which results in a dead trainer. Clearly the trainer was tipped off.

When three of the favorites for the Kentucky Derby become sick and are withdrawn, Jeff needs to solve another mystery. He goes undercover in the stables of the trainer of the winning horse and works as a groom as they are preparing the horse for the Preakness. Besides his investigation, he attracts the enmity of one of the other grooms and his gang. This just adds more pressure to Jeff as he tries to find out what is going on. He has to find out if the illnesses to the horses was planned or coincidental and has to find a way to get the mole to make a mistake and be revealed.

This was a fast-paced mystery with lots of details about thoroughbred racing in the United States. I liked seeing the Triple Crown races through the eyes of someone from Great Britain. Jeff is a man who is burning out on his job now that he is becoming known and cannot go undercover anymore. The case in the United States comes at just the right time to throw some excitement and danger back into his life. However, he isn't particularly excited to go up against heavily armed special agents and makes some pointed comments about US gun policy.

This was an enjoyable mystery.

Favorite Quote:
"It is amazing how it can be tracked in real time," Tony said. "If x--- were a terrorist, they could call in  a drone strike to take him out."

He'd been watching too many movies, I thought. A drone strike directed at a vehicle on home soil might have raised a few awkward questions in the U. S. Congress.
I bought this one April 18, 2017. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. The subject is new to me - very few horses in this part of the world anyway. Intriguing reading.


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