Even Money by Dick Francis and Felix Francis

evenReviewed by Julie Moderson

This book is the third collaboration between the father and son duo. In reading about Dick Francis you can understand why he wrote such a great story about horse racing. He is a son of a jockey and he was a jockey to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother for four seasons from 1953 to 1957. He nearly won the steeple chase when his horse collapsed just inches from the finish line; Francis suffered two serious falls while horse racing and was forced to retire; he then became the racing correspondent for the London Express. Later he started to write bestselling novels. We are all pleased about that.

The book starts on the first day of Royal Ascot a famous horse race. Ned Talbot has worked his entire life as a bookmaker and has inherited the family business from his grandfather who has passed away. His grandparents raised Ned because his parents were killed in a car accident when he was just two years old. His wife has some mental health disease and Ned is truly in love with her and he cares so deeply for her. She has been in the hospital for six months.

During the race a gray haired gentleman stares at Ned. He later steps forward to tell Ned that he is his father. Ned is very confused and the two men have a drink together. Ned is convinced that the man is his father. As the men leave to go to the car a man in the parking lot approaches them and stabs the father that Ned never knew he had. Ned plays detective and tries to find out about his father but he learns some ugly secrets not only about his father but also about both his grandparents. He is hurt and betrayed. Ned not only puts his own life in jeopardy but his wife as well. I love this book and the ending is wonderful.

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