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For Kicks Mass Market Paperback – February 3, 2004


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14th Deadly Sin
Third in the Women's Murder Club series: As violence sweeps through San Francisco, Detective Lindsay Boxer and her friends must risk their lives in the name of justice—before it's too late. Read more about authors James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
$7.99 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 8 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Few things are more convinving than Dick Francis at a full gallop." -Chicago Tribune

"Nobody sets up a mystery better than Dick Francis." -San Francisco Chronicle

"One of the most reliable mystery writers working today." -Detroit News and Free Press

From the Inside Flap

"The best thriller writer going."
Atlantic Monthly
Daniel Roke didn't want to leave his Australian stud farm to help look into an English horse-doping scandal. But there he was in England, taking over invetsigative duties vacated by a racing journalist who had died in a suspicious auto accident. And soon enough, Daniel learned that men who would give drugs to horses would do much worse to human beings.... --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; Reissue edition (February 3, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425194981
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425194980
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #333,677 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By clifford on September 12, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
You have to have read a couple of Dick Francis' novels before you understand the author. In a way he stands alone, for as far as I can tell he has not overtly used other writers styles and no contemporary writer has used Francis as a primary influence. All of Francis' books follow a similar arc, from one to the next, you know exactly what you will get. But in a strange way, this is not bothersome, instead it is like revisiting an old familiar and comfortable place.

Francis' books are not in a series format. He only uses the same character for a second time once. In his first ten or so books, he uses a particular jockey to set his story around. And later he finds people of different professions that have racing interests to center stories around. This book, "For Kicks" is from the transitional phase, the late 60's, early 70's. It tells the story of Daniel Roke, a trainer from Australia who is hired to uncover a doping ring that is not being detected through traditional meathods. Its a pretty simple story, and like all of Francis' work it is refreshingly understated. With James Patterson and Patricia Cornwells mamoth body counts and terrorising serial killers, or end of the world scenarios ala Tom Clancy and too many others influencing todays reading lists, its amazing to see how much quiet tension builds up in Francis' stories.

I would highly recommend Francis to anyone. Its a fun world to live in for a while, where all of England revolves around the racing world... every other profesion comes second. I remember how much I loathed the idea of Francis before I first read him and I laugh now at my perception of what his books would be about. I mean, how can one author base a huge series of mysteries on racing horses? Dick Francis does so quite well.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Book lover -Philadelphia on May 15, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I agree completely with the other reviewers. This is a terrific suspense novel that happens to give insight into British racing, the class system and each and every character. While I have read all the Dick Francis books, this is the one that I go back to and reread every year or so. Its quiet, understated tone still builds up to suspense and excitement.

His earlier books (like this one) are the best, as far as I am concerned, and the most recent one or two are not worth reading.

p.s. On a visit to England, I took great joy in going to Newmarket and watching the horses out for practice early in the morning. It felt as if I was in the middle of a Dick Francis book. My husband and daughter, also fans, felt the same.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Chamberlin on February 25, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Intellectuals may scorn him, moderns may call him dated, but they don't know what they're missing. You can always depend on Dick Francis for engrossing adventure with just the right amount of philosophical underpinnings. Enjoy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 24, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have read all the Dick Francis books and I have 3 favorites. This one, Enquiry, and Bolt. I have read this book at least 8 times and I think it is awesome! It is so perfectly written. Everyone who hasn't read this book should read it!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Glenn McLeod on March 7, 2001
Format: School & Library Binding
For Kicks by Dick Francis. Pocket Books 1965
Good quick read.
In this, one of Francis' earlier books, Daniel Roke, and Australian, is hired by the Earl of October to try and discover how someone is fixing races by drugging the winners with an untraceable drug.. To do this he masquerades as a stable boy and shifts from horse yard to horse yard until he discovers who is doing it and finally how it is being done. In doing so, Daniel places himself and Elinor, the young daughter of the Earl of October, at considerable risk. In a final confrontation with the bad guys Daniel overcomes his adversaries but is thrown in jail accused of murder to await the return of the Earl of October.
Like most of Francis' protagonists, Daniel is youngish, handsome, honest beyond measure and quite capable at a number of things useful to someone working with horses. A sub plot to the main story is the wrongful accusation of Daniel by the older Earl's daughter of sexual abuse and his growing involvement with the younger.
To the seasoned Francis reader, this book does not have too much depth but like all Francis mysteries, a joy to read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 9, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I found this book to be consistant with Francis's style. I enjoyed the plot, mostly because it is not quite the typical Francis book,perhaps because it is one of his earlier books. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and the mystery Daniel had to solve. I would definitely reccomend this book to both Francis fans and new readers of his work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Shimizu Takaaki on January 31, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was the first Mr.Francis's book I have read in my life. I was completely involved his world, and can not stop read his books. Unfortunately, I caught up with the latest book, and can not stand waiting his next one.
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By Patto on November 4, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
The Earl of October visits Daniel Roke, owner of a prosperous stud farm in Australia. The Earl belongs to the group that governs National Hunt racing in England. They're having a problem with the doping of racehorses. Some kind of substance or method is being used that's undetectable in testing. The Earl wants Dan to impersonate a stable hand and investigate - for 20,000 British pounds.

Dan at 27 years old is the sole support of three young siblings who are still at school. Obviously the money would come in handy. But he takes on the Earl's challenge, not because of the exorbitant pay, but because he feels trapped by his responsibilities and the dull predictability of his life.

In England Dan finds himself living and working at the bottom of the social scale (a shock to his pride) and tangling with some truly horrible characters (a danger to his continued existence). When as part of his role he grows his hair and wears a black leather jacket, he turns out to be devilishly attractive to women. This adds to the difficulty of his undercover job.

FOR KICKS rises above its corny title, and is a fun read from beginning to end.
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