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Rat Race Mass Market Paperback – February 22, 1993

29 customer reviews

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Mass Market Paperback, February 22, 1993
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Editorial Reviews



“FRANCIS IS A GENIUS.”—Los Angeles Times


“DICK FRANCIS IS A WONDER.”—The Cleveland Plain Dealer


--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Matt Shore was an experienced pilot. He’d done it all. From big jets to flying in supplies to war zones. So when he gets a job ferrying high class punters around England’s race courses he might be forgiven for expecting the quiet life. But then his plane explodes in a massive fireball. He could have been in it. Some quiet life.

Instead he’s landed in the middle of a nightmare world where there is big money at stake. Very big money.

From then on he finds himself hurtling down a tortuous trail where people are not all they appear, and all around him is sudden bloody death...

‘Impossible to stop reading’ Daily Telegraph

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Fawcett; Reprint edition (February 22, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449221121
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449221129
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.7 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,778,741 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By clifford on April 14, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It's kind of strange, but every Dick Francis is pretty much the same. It's strange because only two of his many books have the same lead character. What Francis does is find a profession, research what may pertain to said profession, and then plop his readymade protagonist and story-line into this situation.

The gift that Francis has is that as a reader I really don't mind that I have seen this plot and character twenty times before. The authors prose is elegant in its way and it allows the reader easy access to a world that is fascinating to visit. Whenever I think of Francis as an author I think of Cocteau, the French director who built worlds where poets were the rock stars of society. Francis does this with jockeys. Every time you open up one of his books, the jockey is on the highest echelon of culture even if the other characters don't realize this.

Rat Race is either a fine place to start on Francis if you have not read him before, or it is one of his more captivating short novels if you are looking for a next title in the series. If you want his best book in my opinion, try 'In the Frame.'
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Chai on August 9, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
For readers like me who find most of Dick Francis's books a little chilling, this early (1971) entry to his collection is delightfully different from the others. As pilot Matt Shore investigates a series of bombings apparently aimed at one of his passengers, famous jockey Colin Ross, the points of similarity to Francis's later race-course thrillers will be obvious: a manly, laconic hero; race-course settings; a good dose of violence towards the end. But the characters here are drawn with a warmth and humanity too often missing in Francis's later works, and the writer seems truly interested in their relationships. I love the moment when the hard-as-nails trainer suddenly turns on one of the other passengers in Matt's small plane and tells him off for his lamentable self-absorption--only to find that the slightly-crooked jockey she's been at odds with throughout the story is cheering her on; the scene in the attic of a stately ducal mansion, where Matt finds the gentle and kindly, if somewhat befuddled, Duke of Wessex absorbed in playing with his ten-year-old nephew and the model trains they both love; the picnic Matt shares on a riverbank with the famous jockey and his sisters, who generously open their family to include a near-stranger even while they deal with their grief at knowing that one of the young women is fatally ill--all those and any number of other moments lift this from the deadliness of the standard contemporary crime thriller into something more meaningful, and make this a book worth reading, or even reading again.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Fax on June 20, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you are a Dick Francis fan, this book will neither disappoint nor surprise you. It's more or less like all his other books--similar hero (average to himself, to those around him stoic, tough, cool under pressure) in the standard situation (doing his job, which gets interfered with, when the hero feels called upon to take care of the interferers, which act reveals to him his true personality, plus down-toned love story). This one involves airplanes--also not unusual for a Dick Francis book. I sound critical. But I really enjoyed it--thus the stars--and though it isn't likely to burst anyone's literary bubbles or change their lives, it certainly provides an entertaining and exciting couple of hours. Which is the objective.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Waugh on January 6, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I love Dick Francis' books.....mainly because he knows how to describe people's idiosyncrasies and is consistent in describing their characters to the very end...his main character is always tough, tenacious but underneath, vulnerable. Rat Race was an entertaining and intriguing story...and I really liked the girl he fell in love with. My only complaint: at the very end it's not clear whether he died, or only fainted!

Is there someone somewhere who can enlighten me?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By rtistelle on November 27, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a change from other Francis novels, as it is mainly set in aircraft services with horse racing a peripheral draw. In his introduction, he explains the change as stemming from his wife becoming enamored with aircraft and their dabbling in an air taxi service.

His characters are well-developed with personalities. I particularly liked his protagonist who was working on his own inner demons and dealing with a checkered job history stoically. Throughout his novels, his protagonists tend to be ordinary blokes not superheroes or magicians who conjure an ending from obscurities or put one over or one-up on the reader with the conclusion. I find this engaging. It makes for a good read to feel so comfortable with the characters, in my humble opinion.

I skimmed through other reviews, and my point of view differs with some. I am drawn to re-read some Francis and court the ones never read, as he weaves a different story in each. I am tired of some popular current mystery authors for currying favor by interesting titles only to start reading then find I'm not able to tell the current novel from the last. How boring. Other than the protagonist being delightful to cheer for and the antagonist deserving his just outcome, I see little redundancy in Francis plots. Part of the appeal to me, is knowing each book will be a little different and not a cookie-cutter version of the last. I did like his repeat characters in two books for the endearing familiarity, but that is not the usual case for his mysteries. This makes his characters less predictable and stale. I appreciate the Francis books. The writing is solid and refreshing. I need books like his to look forward to on cold Colorado nights after a tough work day. There was a long empty space between the early ones and the ones later in 2006-7. I hope there will be more to come.
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