When it comes to a bookstore having a sale, I can’t seem to help myself and when it’s a John Francome book marked down from $25 to $8, I definitely can’t! I picked up Free Fall because it had been marked down and I had a couple of Francome books after reading one by Dick Francis with a foreword by Francome.
Free Fall focuses on two sisters who are involved with men in the racing industry. One is an apprentice jockey involved with a well practised jockey while the other a hairdresser, married to a yard foreman.
Both men are short on money, one eager to improve his bank balance to impress his unhappy wife, the other disillusioned about life as a jockey and looking for a quick financial fix. Together they hatch a plan to win money on the horses but find that the Murphy’s Law of life causes things to run in a rather haphazard way.
The novel starts out with a potential suicide leaving you questioning who the two characters are in this situation before the story moves suddenly elsewhere. It’s not until the near conclusion of the book that you’re brought back to this first scene and given answers.
A murder mystery, Free Fall contains enough horses to keep the enthusiast following and was aside from this the sort of book I didn’t want to put down until my many questions were answered.
The interrelationships between the characters kept the story moving along nicely and although there was only thirty or so pages left and I didn’t see how things could be wrapped up when they’d just seemed to reach a pivotal moment, the ending didn’t seem rushed and came together well.
Author: John Francome
Fiction – murder mystery
In my library? Sure. Don’t necessarily agree with the actions of some of the characters but didn’t find the writing in itself offensive. In fact very interesting and a catching read.
“… you rise and fall with the leg by the wall …”