Second Wind by Dick Francis

Although controversy surrounds the authorship of his mysteries, Dick Francis is a staple for horse fans.

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Second Wind by Dick Francis


  • Hardcover: 293 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.75 x 9.50 x 6.50
  • Publisher: Putnam Pub Group; (October 4, 1999)
  • ISBN: 0399145621
    Dick Francis's legion of admirers can relax: his year off from writing since the 1998 publication of Field of Thirteen is over, and a new vigor has entered his style. Longtime readers will be happy to find the customary racetrack skullduggery, galvanized by some fascinating new elements.

    The very opening of Second Wind signals something new, with Francis's protagonist, meteorologist Perry Stuart, fighting for his life as he flies through the eye of storm on Trox Island, a blighted place steeped in guano and harboring a nasty secret. "But now, as near dead as dammit, I tumbled like a rag-doll piece of flotsam in towering gale-driven seas that sucked unimaginable tons of water from the deeps ...."

    When the reader encountered details of the racing world in Francis's earlier thrillers such as Whip Hand and Reflex, they had the satisfying ring of authenticity. The same is true in Second Wind--Stuart's character was developed with the help of BBC weatherman John Kettley.

    Although this is a new venue for Francis, he still has a knack for quickening the reader's pulse with a few carefully chosen words: "Despair was too strong a word for it. Perhaps despondency was better. When they came for me, they came with guns." --Barry Forshaw

    Book Description
    The grand master of crime fiction gallops once again into the winner's circle with his extraordinary new novel.

    Dick Francis takes us on his most electrifying, death-defying ride yet in Second Wind.

    The catastrophic power of a giant hurricane can raise coastal waves thirty feet high and blow through houses at devastating speeds. For TV meteorologist Perry Stuart, however, such predictions are generally hypothetical, as he chiefly predicts periods of English drizzle, with bursts of heavier rain and sunshine to follow. Stuart's profound weather knowledge and accuracy have given him high status among forecasters, but no physical baptism by storm.

    Not, that is, until a fellow forecaster offers him a Caribbean hurricane-chasing ride in a small airplane as a holiday diversion. But a frightening accident teaches Stuart more secrets than wind speeds . . . and back home in England he faces threats and danger as deadly as anything nature can evolve.

    Dick Francis "has simply never failed. Every one of his opening sentences pulls the reader in, and doesn't let go until the last, perfect word," according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Second Wind may be his greatest triumph yet.

    Reader Reviews
    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful: This is not your typical Dick Francis novel, September 13, 2002 Reviewer: Philip A. True from Fairfax, VA USA If you wish to read one of the dozens of Dick Francis novels, and every mystery fan should, please don't start with Second Wind. To be sure the writing has all of the usual Dick Francis qualities of concise yet telling prose. But the plot involving not a horseman but a BBC meterologist, Dr. Perry Stuart, and his fellow meterologist Kris, the desire of suicide-minded Kris to fly through a hurricane, the tiny island of Trox, now deserted, and the mysterious goings-on there, and the collection of folks met at a party at Newmarket is in the end unsatisfying. The plot was strained at times, and the various physical poundings befelling Perry, including surviving a hurricane with only a life vest, seemed more cartoon-like than real. Although Francis had the help of a professional meterologist for the atmosphere, still the impression was a very superficial one and in a way misleading. There was little or no talk that I recall of the various models that forecasters rely on, or the atmospheric teleconnections that enable forecasters to predict with some accuracy the weather a week down the road. Also, Francis has Hurricane Sheila whipping up the waves in November which would be some 17 named storms, close to if not a record for the number of named Atlantic storms in a single season. In sum, Francis seemed to have trouble in deciding whether this is mystery or suspense, or whether he should highlight the business of weather forecasting or the machinations of terrorists and their helpers. Read Dick Francis, but not this one. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition

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