Book Review: Under Orders

Under Orders by Dick Francis.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars.
Under orders is the first Dick Francis novel I have read. It’s also the first one he penned after his wife’s death left him bereft and without a research partner for his writing. Thankfully, his son Felix stepped into that role, beginning a fruitful collaboration that sees Dick Francis novels published today, even after the death of the author himself.

This work is the fourth in a series of novels to feature Sid Halley, a retired jockey turned private investigator. Crime isn’t really my favourite genre, but as a horse lover and rider, I was curious to read one of Francis’s works. Dick Francis was himself a champion National Hunt jockey before turning his hand to writing.

The prose is direct, clean, tight, and very readable, and the plot has some surprising twists and turns that I wasn’t expecting. The story and characters kept me gripped from the first chapter, and I actually found myself galloping toward the finishing post at 3am on Christmas morning. Not many books can keep me awake past 10pm.

I would recommend this novel to anyone who wants to dip their toe into the world of crime fiction. It was fast-paced, easy to read, and brilliantly researched. I’ll be picking up more of Dick Francis’s work in future.

View all my reviews.

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