Monday, April 25, 2016

Book Review: Bloodline

Felix Francis

The late Dick Francis was one of the great thriller writers of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Most of his books were set in and around the world of British horse racing. Many of them also featured some interesting tangent, usually as the protagonist's job or hobby: photography (Reflex), wine (Proof), merchant banking (Banker), gems (Straight), and so forth. His last few books he coauthored with his son Felix.

Now Felix is on his own. Felix is not, to be honest, one of the great thriller writers. He's getting better, though. At this point, most of his issues are technical ones. In Bloodline, for example, he waits until well into the book to introduce the character who becomes the first murder victim; his father, I'm sure, would have brought him into the first chapter. He's got too many minor players, and he doesn't differentiate among them well by either physical or character description. However, his pacing is pretty good, and the surprise ending is satisfying, and that's kind of the bar for your basic thriller.

I wouldn't particularly recommend this for general readers, nor even for general thriller readers. It's a decent quick read for Dick Francis aficionados, though.

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