Daniel Roke, an experienced Australian stud farmer, has been hired to investigate a series of horse dopings throughout England’s racing circuit. Dan, hoping to break free from his dull and tedious life in Australia, accepted the offer when it was presented to him by The Earl of October. Seeing as how October was one of the most respected and successful people in the business, Dan was offered 20,000 pounds for the completion of his job. With his family in mind Dan set off to October’s stables where he first began the mission that would change his life forever. In Dick Francis’s newest mystery novel, For Kicks, Daniel Roke discovers his true self by risking life and limb trying to expose the secret underground world of horse doping. Disguised as a stable lad, Dan makes his way through some of the dirtiest stables in England starting at October’s and working his way down to Hedly Humber’s, all while earning the reputation of a criminal. Dan’s investigation takes him to places he’d never been before and makes him an enemy as well as a friend to many. Dan quickly learns that people who would abuse horses would do far worse to humans and that as soon as you enter Humber’s stable its no holds barred. The author uses Daniel Roke, a well-known stud farmer in Australia, to depict the harsh realities of horse racing that many overlook. Throughout Dan’s adventure he begins to realize how badly stable lads are treated and how often they are stereotyped as being terrible people. He also finds it extremely difficult to stand by and allow people to abuse horses the way they. Dan absolutely hates the disrespect and cruelty that the horses have to withstand and is completely shocked when he witnesses it first hand. This exposure of corruption and hatred changes Dan’s view of horse racing completely. It opens his eyes to a different world, one of which he wishes badly not to be apart of. This experience has a tremendous impact on Dan because now he is beginning to realize how good he has it in Australia. Even though he is stuck with raising his younger brother and sisters it isn’t as bad as getting beat up and not being able to eat after working all day long. Not only does Dan’s experience at Humber’s make him grateful for what he has but it also makes Dan more determined than ever to stop the so called horse “dopers.” If anyone should write a book about horses and steeple chases it would have to be Dick Francis. Not only does he have years of experience in the horse racing business but he has already wrote dozens of other highly successful books such as Nerve and Reflex. Dick Francis is also a former champion steeplechase jockey, which gives him the perfect insight on horse racing and “doping.” It’s because of the experience and knowledge that he has obtained over the years from racing that allows him to write such successful books. Although I have not read too many mystery books myself, I highly recommend this one. This novel, For Kicks, is extremely involving. It is constantly making you think about which characters are involved in the crime and what they have to do with each other. The story line also has several twists that throw you off track. Another reason why I liked the book is because Dan is always in conflict with someone or some thing while he is trying to track the horse dopers down. Adams causes the most problems with Dan because he feels he has to keep Dan weak and he does this by beating him. Another person of whom Dan runs into trouble with is October’s daughter, Patty. Dan almost blows the entire case in one day when Patty accuses him of a horrible crime. The more details and information added the better the book becomes because the readers have to figure things out for themselves. The higher the interest level, the more people are going to enjoy the book. That is why I liked the book so much, because it involved me. This book is for everyone. Even if you don’t like to read and have no interest in horses. The way the author writes this book, you don’t need to know anything about horses. The story is very easy to follow yet it doesn’t give away the ending and confuse you like other books do.
I gots a 90 on dis here paper. Put your own name on it if you want.
Word Count: 746