Summer Reading: The Danger

The cover of The Danger by Dick Francis

It’s only been two days since I posted my thoughts on A Town Like Alice, and here I am, the next book in my summer reading scheme already devoured. It isn’t very surprising though, The Danger by Dick Francis’s was hard to put down, easy to read, fast paced and great.  Dick Francis never disappoints.

Andrew Douglas is a partner in Liberty Market Ltd., a firm specializing in kidnap-prevention and negotiating with kidnappers once a kidnapping has occurred. At the start of the book he is in Italy, helping Paolo Cenci get his beloved daughter, Alessia, back from the kidnappers, who have been holding her for the past six weeks. Though the local police botch the ransom drop, in the end Alessia is released, shaken but physically unhurt.

When Andrew goes back home to England, Alessia, who is a professional jockey, decides to travel with him, to get away from the memories and to recuperate with a friend.  She wrestles with the psychological aftermath of her weeks as a kidnapping victim, and Andrew does his best to keep her from sinking too deep into depression.

But then a little boy is kidnapped and it becomes evident that his kidnapping is related to Alessia’s.  Andrew, with the help of his partners, and the police, must find the boy and stop the man orchestrating these kidnappings.

I couldn’t put this book down, which is testament to how great a writer Dick Francis was. The characters are believable and likeable and the writing is clear and compelling. As a crime story it concentrates much more on the mechanics of Andrew Douglas’s profession, and the psychological consequences of having been held against your will, than it does on the excitement of the chase. My only real complaint with the book is the bad guy, his motives were a little fuzzy, and he was, perhaps true to the story, not very sinister after all.

And this means I am about to start the last book of my list, The Rowan by Anne McCaffrey. Can’t wait!




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