To me reading Dick Francis is like eating comfort food. It's nothing fancy, but I know I'm going to love the experience. Francis' protagonists are "everyman" thrown into unusual circumstances, who always find a way to win. This one was no different. Our hero, Edward Lincoln, sees himself as a regular guy who happens to make a living as a action movie actor. He is content with his low key homelife with his wife and kids in the country.
The story takes us to South Africa where Edward has agreed to check out why a friend's horses are not performing as well as they should. Edward grew up in the stables where his father was a head lad, I believe. His dreams of becoming a jockey were dashed when he grew to 6 feet. Once in South Africa, Edward has a couple of near misses and is wondering if someone is trying to kill him as a result of his poking around in the stables.
The climax had me sweating it out right alongside Edward. How's he going to get out of this one? I loved his use of survival skills and his matter-of-fact acceptance of who the attempted murderer is and how Edward is going to catch him.