book log 62) Dick Francis — For Kicks

Danny Roke has made a success out of running a stud farm in Australia. He’s devoted to the stud, because he’s devoted to the younger siblings he’s raised since their parents died, and the stud brings money and stability. What it doesn’t bring is a sense that this is what he wants the rest of his life to be. When the Earl of October arrives one day and offers him enough money to keep the stud running without him, he’s intrigued enough to take the job offered — going undercover as a stablehand to investigate a suspected racehorse doping racket in English racing.

Danny knows going in that the job could be dangerous. Fatal, even. But he finds enough to convince him that there *is* a racket, and he’s determined to get to the bottom of it, if only to prove to himself that he can do the job.

It’s a wonderful piece of writing, with solid characterisation and a well-plotted mystery. Highly enjoyable way to spend a few hours.