Shattered by Dick Francis

 

MysteryShatteredFrancis, Dick.; G.P. Putnam’s Sons 2000WorldCatGerard Logan is close friends with Martin Stukely, a jockey. When Martin dies in a race on the last day of 1999, he leaves a videotape for Gerard. Gerard puts in his jacket pocket before returning to his glass blowing shop. That night, while he is outside on the street celebrating the new millennium, someone goes into his shop and steals the money he’d earned that day and the package. When he visits the widow, he discovers their home was broken into and she and the children were tranquilized with a sleeping gas. All of her videotapes and machines are stolen. The same happens at Gerard’s home.

When Gerard starts investigating at the track, he discovers a nasty woman and a gang of book makers who appear to work for her. He tracks down a research doctor who was at his shop the night of the theft. The doctor had stolen research from the lab where he had worked. The information on the videotape could be worth millions.

Very little of Shattered takes place at the race track. Much of it takes place at Gerard’s shop. Since the book is told in first person narrative, it follows Gerard as he and a policewoman track down the mystery. Dick Francis’ books are similar, yet well written and entertaining. One twist is easy to spot, but there’s an extra twist at the end that add the humanity to the novel as well.

Francis makes the nasty woman evil. As the book progresses, her danger increases as her own temper escalates. As an expert glass blower, Gerard is strong and muscular, yet even he recognizes how dangerous she is. He wouldn’t be surprised if she killed before the video tape mystery is solved. The rest of the characters are likeable and believable within the situation and environment Francis has created.

Shattered is a lively book and kept my interest throughout.

Notice: Non-graphic violence, Suggestive dialogue or situations

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