Thursday, September 8, 2022

Audiobook Review: Proof by Dick Francis


Author: Dick Francis
Narrator: Simon Prebble
Publication: Recorded Books (July 19, 2011)
Length: 9 hours and 43 minutes

Description: With this New York Times best seller, Dick Francis creates an intoxicating blend of the good life, fast horses, and nail-biting suspense.

After a shattering accident plunges a society soiree into chaos, an unassuming wine merchant is left with the bitter aftertaste of suspicion and fear. While catering an outdoor party for a prominent horse trainer, Tony Beach hears rumors of inferior whisky being sold under premium labels. All of that is forgotten, however, when a runaway horse trailer suddenly ploughs into the guest-filled tent. Later, after the last victim is pulled from the debris, he begins searching for answers to both the fraudulent spirits and the disaster. As Tony follows up leads, he finds himself pulled deeper and deeper into a treacherous world filled with greed, deception, and unspeakable murder.

Incomparable storyteller Dick Francis grabs your attention on page one and keeps you riveted throughout to the smashing finish. With narrator Simon Prebble’s dramatic timing and superb accents, you’ll find Proof a vintage mystery to be savored.

My Thoughts: Tony Beach is a 32-uear-old widower who is a wine merchant with an in with the horsey crowd because his father was a famous amateur jockey and his mother rides in the local hunt. Because of his connections, he's hired to supply the liquor for a party hosted by one of the local trainers. He sees a horrible accident when a loaded horse trailer rumbles down a hill and crashes into the outdoor tent where the party is being held. He and some of the other guests do their best to rescue many trapped in the collapsed tent. Even so, the guest of honor, a sheik, some of his entourage, one of the trainer's best customers Larry Trent, and a few other people die in the accident.

The trainer breaks a leg, and his secretary is also severely injured, but not before he has a conversation with Tony about some whiskey he had at the Trent's supper club. He is convinced that the whiskey wasn't what the bottle's label says it was. This conversation makes its way through the trainer's wife to Gerrard McGregor who helped Tony free people during the accident and who works for an investigative agency.

Gerrard recruits Tony to be his expert for his current case which concerns the theft of trucks filled with whiskey, Gerrard's company has been hired to find out how the thefts are happening because the company won't be able to stay in business if the thefts continue. 

Meanwhile, the local police also need Tony's expertise because they have numerous complaints about alcohol being sold in local pubs that isn't what it is supposed to be. Trent's supper club is on the list and Tony quickly identifies that the whiskey and some of the wines are being misrepresented. While they are there, a man from the home office appears and seems surprised about the liquor. Shortly thereafter the wine manager at Trent's is found murdered by having his head wrapped in plaster of Paris. 

As Tony and Gerrard investigate, they begin to find connections between the two investigations and the tension mounts as they get closer to a solution and also closer to a killer.

This is one of my favorite stories by Dick Francis. I really enjoy that the hero has self-doubts about his courage and fear that he won't be able to live up to the heroics of his father and grandfather. I also like that he isn't afraid to be grieving for the death of his young wife. I also like that he is happy in his career.

The narration was expertly done by Simon Prebble who managed a variety of accents to distinguish the various characters without making the accents incomprehensible to my American ears. He also did a great job conveying the various emotions of the characters and the rising tensions in the story.

I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love getting comments. Let me know what you think.

This blog is now officially declared an Award Free zone! I do appreciate your kindness in thinking of me and I am humbled by your generosity.

Your comments are award enough for me. Comment away!