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Dead Heat

Dead Heat

Restaurant life, horse racing and murder in England. What else could you want?

Dick Francis pulls you into every page with murder, mayhem and mystery.

Dick Francis pulls you into every page with murder, mayhem and mystery.

I’m a sucker for any insider view of working in a restaurant. I’ve worked in several and those might not have been the last, but there’s just something about them that, well, romantically anyway, is appealing. I completely understand the realities of the long hours, low pay, and high risk of the industry. But still.

Add horse racing, romance, strange twists that seemingly are not linked and it’s a puzzle of a story that you’re somehow intertwined in the middle of. The narrator (we listed as an audiobook) keeps the pace slow and steady and the hero (the chef of the restaurant) is unsuspecting and even naive of all that goes on around him–which makes it all the more believable.

Before long, he’s in the middle of a puzzle that he does a surprising good job of unraveling. In fact, he goes beyond his mere status as chef and turns into something of a detective, but again, because he’s not a detective and because he questions almost his every move, it makes it more engaging and you want to know what’s going to happen next.

Yes, in the end, we’re back to guns and bombs and bad guys, but it’s not the heart of the story. It’s a good comparison, by complete coincidence, with Don’t Blink and how they play regular folks up against irregular odds and stories. But Dead Heat does it with just a bit deeper diving into the character than, well, than I remember with Don’t Blink (I finished it only days ago). But I can already barely remember the characters in Don’t Blink whereas I’m living (and dying) together with the characters in Dead Heat.

That’s what makes it different (and better) for me, when I’m in there with them and I want to know what’s going to happen next because I’m concerned about their well-being. Funny how that works. It’s just a book.

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