On a recent rainy afternoon (rather like today) I went hunting for something to read. As always, I had heaps of must-reads cluttering up my bedside table – but none of them appealed. They all seemed too weighty or too complicated. Basically none of them fitted what I was after… so I went trawling through our library for something that felt right. What I found was our remaining three Dick Francis paperbacks.
I don’t remember when exactly started reading Dick Francis thrillers, but it was sometime in my teens. What I do remember is just how much I loved them. The writing style was clear and clever, the protagonists easy to identify with, and the detail on all aspects of the racing world intensely believable. I also remember that I was both surprised and gratified to discover that Dick Francis was a retired champion jockey. No wonder his words seemed to hold the ring of authenticity!
Over the years I’ve continued to read his books, some from the public library, some from stock – and even buying them from second-hand bookshops when on holiday. The man was a prolific writer, producing over 40 novels, along with an autobiography and the official biography of racing legend Lester Piggott. It’s been fun to discover and rediscover his version of the racing world each time I’ve delved into one of them.
Not long ago, we swapped many of our paper copies for eBook versions – and I confess I do miss those well-thumbed old paperbacks. Even so, Kindle in hand, I’ve romped through Banker, Bolt and Come to Grief over the past few days – revelling the adventures of Kit Fielding, Sid Halley and Tim Ekaterin, all top blokes and very dashing protagonists.
It’s been a bit like coming home after being away for ages – the feeling that I’m reacquainting myself with people I’ve half forgotten but who’s company I enjoy each time we meet up. I’m looking forward to spending time with Neil Griffon in Bonecrack next, then Gene Hawkins in Bloodsport. I’ve got the rest queued and ready to go – and if the rainy weather persists, I may make it through them all 🙂
Have you read any? If not, you could try your local library for a taster – it really doesn’t matter in which order you read them.