Shattered is a classic novel from Dick Francis, one of the greatest thriller writers of all time.
Cheltenham Races, New Year's Eve. Gerard Logan witnesses the death of his close friend, jockey Martin Stukely, after a fall from his horse. In the aftermath, Gerard is left to pick up the pieces - including a mysterious unmarked videotape that Martin secretly left him.
But before Gerard gets to watch it, the videotape is stolen.
And soon further crimes against Gerard and those close to him start to occur. What was on the missing videotape? And why are the attacks continuing?
In order to stay alive, Gerard needs to keep one step ahead of his enemies and uncover the truth - before his livelihood and everything he loves is shattered for good.
Packed with intrigue and hair-raising suspense, Shattered is one of the many blockbuster thrillers from legendary crime writer Dick Francis. Other novels include the huge bestsellers Dead Heat, Under Orders and Silks. The Dick Francis legacy continues through his son Felix Francis: Refusal is his latest novel, following Bloodline and Gamble.
Praise for the Dick Francis novels:
'The narrative is brisk and gripping and the background researched with care . . . the entire story is a pleasure to relish' Scotsman
'Dick Francis's fiction has a secret ingredient - his inimitable knack of grabbing the reader's attention on page one and holding it tight until the very end' Sunday Telegraph
'Still the master' Racing Post
'The master of suspense and intrigue' Country Life
Dick Francis was one of the most successful post-war National Hunt jockeys. The winner of over 350 races, he was champion jockey in 1953/1954 and rode for HM Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, most famously on Devon Loch in the 1956 Grand National. On his retirement from the saddle, he published his autobiography, The Sport of Queens, before going on to write forty-three bestselling novels, a volume of short stories (Field of 13), and the biography of Lester Piggott.
Dick Francis died in February, 2010, at the age of 89, but he remains one of the greatest thriller writers of all time.
Francis's latest may be one of his less memorable rides, but even at 80, the old master proves he can still go all out in the final stretch. The hero here is Gerard Logan, a dashing English bachelor who owns and operates his own glassblowing shop in a charming village in the Cotswolds, popular with other artisans and tourists. Logan's problem is that his good friend, jockey Martin Stukely, gave him a videotape shortly before dying in a fall during a steeplechase at Cheltenham racetrack. That videotape is now missing, stolen by a tall, bearded gent who made off with it while Logan's back was turned. Now, a crew of thugs wants the tape. They are led by the cruel, aptly named Rose Payne, a ruthless bookmaker who knows what's on the tape--medical breakthrough secrets worth millions--and will do anything to get it. Logan tries to reason with Payne, saying he no longer has the video, and besides, he doesn't even know what it contains. But Rose won't give up. She and her crew beat up Logan on several occasions, viciously trying to break his wrists so he can no longer practice his craft. Logan, no slouch when it comes to payback, finally mounts an all-out defense that includes not only physical reprisals, but also a crafty recovery of the missing object. Francis's 41st novel (To the Hilt; 10 Lb Penalty; etc.) lacks the pounding drive of his best efforts, and several elements of the plot are hard to swallow without cutting the author a lot of slack. Yet the spirited repartee, cleverly laid cues, infectiously likable characters and bang-up finale are all vintage Francis, and the fascinating glimpses the novel furnishes into the glassblowing trade are a bonus. 300,000 first printing.