With his rising culinary career threatened by an episode of food poisoning that affects most of the guests at a private affair that he had catered, Max Moreton finds himself in more trouble when he caters an exclusive luncheon at the Two Thousand Guineas horse race, a party devastated by a bomb blast that kills some of his staff as well as many of the guests.
Dick Francis has found a winning formula that he faithfully follows:. A racetrack, jockeys, a deceptively unassuming young man who somehow manages to rise to all occasions, metaphorically slaying dragons as he does so, great physical danger, plus at least a tinge of romance. The plots work brilliantly time after time. There's also a vocational specialty thrown into the mix, so the reader can glean tidbits of technical information along the way. This book does not disappoint, following the basic formula, but with an innovation:. The main character has 6 son's, the oldest five of whom are actively involved in the story line. Their father must contend with the hatred and corruption of the members of a wildly dysfunctional super wealthy family, some of whom have murderous intentions towards the man and his young sons as he uncovers their secrets. The ending, as is often the case in a Dick Francis novel, is bittersweet. The story is compelling, filled with the knowledge of human behavior both terrible and heroic, and well worth the time to read.
From Publishers Weekly
MWA Grand Master Francis's first collaboration with his son Felix, a former physics teacher who researched many of his father's previous bestsellers, introduces an engaging hero, though longtime fans may find certain plot elements, like an unlikely love interest and sinister figures somehow connected with shady racetrack doings, less than fresh. The reputation of Max Moreton, a young wunderkind chef with a restaurant in Newmarket, England, suffers after guests at an affair he caters fall ill with food poisoning. This calamity nearly jeopardizes another job—feeding several dozen attendees at a major horse race. While that meal goes off without a hitch, a terrorist's bomb decimates the crowd at the track. Despite the official theory that an unpopular Middle Eastern ruler at the event was responsible, the chef wonders whether the bombing is related to the earlier food poisoning and turns amateur sleuth. Crisp writing and well-paced action help offset the routine plotting. (Sept.)
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Publisher: Putnam Adult; 1st edition (September 17, 2007)
Condition: Brand New