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Proof Mass Market Paperback – July 5, 2005


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (July 5, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 042520393X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425203934
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 0.9 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #252,685 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The narrator of Francis's 26th mystery is Tony Beach, a young widower who fights his grief by keeping busy at his wine shop and by socializing. Eventually he teams up with private detective Gerard McGregor to find the hijackers of several trucks of spirits; the pair then take on a case involving the adulteration of whiskey and wine at a cafe. In rapid order the cafe's steward is brutally murdered, and Tony and Gerard just miss being killed. Tony's severest test occurs at the "stunning climax of what may be judged the best of Francis's bestsellers so far; it's a corker," PW commented.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

A regular winner ... as smooth, swift and lean as ever Sunday Express As a jockey, Dick Francis was unbeatable when he got into his stride. The same is true of his crime writing Daily Mirror --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Dick Francis was the author of more than forty acclaimed books. Among his numerous awards were three Edgar Awards, the Crime Writers' Association Cartier Diamond Dagger, and the Mystery Writers of America's Grand Master Award. He died in February 2010.

Felix Francis has assisted with the research of many of the Dick Francis novels and is the coauthor of Dead Heat, Silks, and Even Money. He lives in England.

Customer Reviews

Francis is one of the greatest thriller novelists ever.
David J. Gannon
This book is very entertaining and the characters are interesting and well developed.
ALM
It had most of Francis' elements but it was a bit too tidy at the end.
RickRob

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By David J. Gannon on March 11, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Dick Francis reminds me of a master craftsman of say fine furniture. His quality and style are such that, though all his pieces are different, they nevertheless bear the mark of his unique style and craftsmanship. Once in a while you'll come across a piece that's so unique that at first you're not absolutely sure it's one of his but a very short inspection convinces you that, yes, as odd as this piece may be, it's his.
That's a long way of alluding to the fact that Francis' books tend to be highly formulaic. For the most part you know what you are getting before you even open the cover. The formula consists of a highly independent, iconoclastic, extremely self-reliant protagonist who, for reasons he doesn't fathom, has become the center of a storm that, before everything has played out, will involve him in intrigue, murder and at least one act of horrific violence aimed at him personally. There will be some sort of at least marginal if not central theme of horse racing and a specific theme to the book-precious gems, photography or, in the case of Proof, the wine business.
Proof is a bit of a departure form the formula. The horrific violence is right up front in the form of a ghastly automobile accident. Tony Beach, the protagonist of this accident is present to experience it though he emerges unscathed. The accident does, however, bring him into contact with a private investigator. Their shared experience leads them to get ot know one another and the investigator, realizing Tony has some skills he needs, drags him into one of his cases. Thus Tony is an involved party to, but not the focus of the intrigue of this novel.
Moreover, Tony is not your typical Francis protagonist.
Read more ›
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By L. Martin on May 10, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
PROOF is a terrific story about wine merchant Tony Beach who seems to stumble into one tragic situation after another. He agrees to cater a party for the horseracing elite, and watches as hit men reek havoc on the party. Now he's caught in the middle of a terrifying mystery that begins with counterfeit wine and continues on to murder. He has to dig deep within to continue to have the courage to find out who and why this is happening.

Dick Francis is a great writer of mysteries that always revolve around horseracing life. Most of his stories are based in England and steeple chasing (not the type of horseracing we're used to here in the United States). They are interesting and educational if you know nothing about this sport. Francis does not write tales as intense as some of the American authors do, but they are definitely worth the time to read. My father got me hooked on Dick Francis and his tales of murder and mayhem, and this author will have his books read for many years. They are timeless!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 24, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
One of the all time best books I have ever read. Dick Francis is a master writer. Formerly a jockey for the Queen Mother, he has a unique view into the horse racing world of England. His research is flawless and I never fail to learn something from reading any of his books. Proof was one of his best and I highly recommend it.
Bootlegged whiskey and murder lead the hero into the not so nice side of crime in England.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Patto TOP 500 REVIEWER on February 7, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Most Dick Francis heroes are models of cool-headed courage. Although Tony Beach comes from a family of daredevil military men and a mother who rides to hounds, Tony has no interest in fighting or hunting or any other display of bravery. He studies the wine business in France and becomes a wine merchant.

His young wife has died recently, and the reader can see that he's handling that with some courage, but in the world of macho attitudes and endeavors, courage is a sore point with Tony. Circumstances are about to give him a different picture of himself.

Tony's carefully cultivated ability to tell one wine from another and identify various brands of scotch lures him into helping with an investigation. Tankers of raw scotch and wine are being stolen, and purveyors of fine food and wine are serving not-so-fine wine under fake labels.

If you read this story with attention, you'll learn a tremendous amount about the booze business. Dick Francis delights in educating his readers. Or you can let the alcoholic content wash over you pleasantly and mainly enjoy the adventure - and the psychological insights into the workings of courage.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By susan jay, author of The House of Yes on February 1, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Proof is a refreshing departure from other Dick Francis mysteries which usually revolve around some aspect of the horse racing world. Tony Beach, the main character, resembles Francis' other leading men, but this time our hero is a wine merchant who must stoically get to the bottom of a fraud and - of course - a murder. The clues are well spaced and the story gradually increasing in suspense. I loved getting a chance to learn a little more about the wine industry (grateful nod to Mrs. Francis' research). While I never tire of exploring the intricacies of horse racing and breeding which Francis does so well, I am glad he chose in this story to present his formula from a different angle!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ian Holmes on April 28, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A typical Dick Francis, with a capable but modest hero who investigates a crime at great risk to himself. This time the crime is in the liquor industry, and only takes in the fringes of the racing world. For a change, our hero gets shot instead of beaten up, but survives to outwit the villains in the end. A good easy to read novel giving an interesting background to the wine and spirits industries.
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