Bloodline

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Note that, judging by the book's cover, the title here could be Dick Francis's Bloodline. And Felix Francis, being his son, certainly would fit that bill.

Yes, it's another shake of the money tree, invoking the name of a beloved-but-deceased author to sell some books. This is Felix's second solo effort, although he and his dad co-wrote four previous.

Plot: Mark Shillingford is a TV sportscaster, narrating horse races at various British venues. At one fateful race, he notices what nobody else seems to: his jockey twin sister, Clare, holds her horse back just enough to come in second. This is a huge no-no, and Mark confronts her later. That goes unsatisfactorily, and before you know it, Clare has met her end in an apparent grisly suicide.

Unlike your normal Dick Francis protagonist, Mark doesn't handle this stoically. (His first-person narration tells us about his frequent weeping.) Still, he's determined to figure out Clare's bizarre behavior, if only to assuage his own guilty conscience. He must deal with his fractious family, a rumor-mongering gutter journalist, a lackadaisical police investigation, an irate husband he's been cuckolding, and—of course—a villain who's turned to murder most foul.

I didn't enjoy this book as much as I did Felix's previous effort, Gamble. The tone is uneven, I didn't find the protagonist particularly interesting or likeable, and the eventual revelation of the bad guy seems kind of arbitrary. (There are a bunch of likely suspects and it turns out to be … that one. Oh.)