New York Times-bestselling author Felix Francis returns with another nail-biting thriller in the Dick Francis tradition.
It is said that everyone over a certain age can remember distinctly what they were doing when they heard that President Kennedy had been assassinated, or that Princess Diana had been killed in a Paris car crash, but I, for one, could recall all too clearly where I was standing when a policeman told me that my wife had been murdered.
Bill Russell is acting as a volunteer steward at Warwick races when he confronts his worst nightmare--the violent death of his much-loved wife. But, the aftermath proves much worse when he is accused of killing her and then hounded mercilessly by the media. Losing his job and in danger of losing his home too, Bill's life begins to unravel completely. Even his best friends turn against him, thinking him guilty of the heinous crime, despite the lack of any compelling evidence.
As Bill sets out to clear his name, he finds that proving one's innocence isn't easy. He believes he can track down the true culprit, but can he prove it before he becomes the murderer's next victim? Guilty Not Guilty is a journey of greed and jealousy set against the grief of personal tragedy, with many a twist and turn along the way.
Bestseller Francis's plodding fifth solo addition to his father's horse-racing series (after 2018's Crisis) has only a tangential connection to the turf. The Hon. William Gordon-Russell, a self-employed actuary who prefers to be called plain old Bill Russell, is preparing for his duties as a racetrack steward when he receives some devastating news: his beloved wife, Amelia, has been discovered strangled in their Oxfordshire home. Bill's brother-in-law, Joe Bradbury, accuses Bill of the crime, and the police make him their prime suspect on the theory that he killed Amelia to collect on her life insurance. Bill, in turn, believes that Joe, who found the body and who'd sent Amelia threatening and harassing emails, is the murderer. After Bill is brought in for questioning, he becomes a pariah and sets out to prove his innocence and Joe's guilt. Suspension of disbelief is lessened by such details as Bill believing, inaccurately, that leading questions are impermissible on cross-examination. The twist ending will surprise few mystery fans. That Francis has done much better work in the past suggests that a return to form is possible.