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Hot Money Mass Market Paperback – July 6, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Francis has another winner, as skillfully constructed as his previous bestsellers. This time, amateur British jockey Ian Pembroke tells what happens after the murder of his father Malcolm's fifth wife, Moira. A rapacious, sharp-tongued woman, she has caused a break between Malcolm and Ian, who despised her for marrying his father solely to get her hands on his considerable fortune. But two attempts on the old man's life compel him to ask Ian for help. Although the trusted son isn't fond of his eight half-siblings or their motheror even of his ownhe's loath to suspect them of conspiring to kill Malcolm, which seems to be the case. To protect his father, Ian takes him to America and other countries, where the two attend the glamorous, big-purse horse racesscenes at which the author excelsbefore returning warily to England. The story gains momentum, with extended family members furious over Malcolm's spending spree and blaming Ian for wasting their inheritance. A real spellbinder, the mystery ends when the miscreant plays one trick too many. Reader's Digest Condensed Book selection; Literary Guild dual selection and Mystery Guild alternate.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Malcolm Pembroke has the Midas touch for making money. With wealth in excess of 100 million pounds and the ability to make investments that never go wrong, he should be happy. However, he has not been as successful in his personal life; married five times with eight children, his last wife, Moira, was murdered. And now someone is trying to kill him. When Malcolm convinces his son Ian to accompany him to Newmarket Sales, Ian finds out firsthand about the murderous atmosphere surrounding his father. As Ian investigates their family he finds motive and malice to spare, and soon he is also in the murderer!s sites. For nonstop action and edge-of-the-seat suspense, it!s hard to top Francis. Simon Prebble!s precise accent and ability to make each voice unique make this performance a winner. Highly recommended for all public libraries.?Theresa Connors, Arkansas Tech Univ., Russellville
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Malcolm Pembroke is the father, a man who's become immensely wealthy buying and selling gold. Lucky in everything but wives, Malcolm has been married five times and produced nine children. When the story opens, wife number five (Moira) has just been murdered in her geranium patch.
The son who narrates the story is Ian Pembroke, thirty-three-year-old amateur jockey. He's a typical likeable Francis hero: resourceful, loyal, cool in a crisis, quietly compassionate.
Members of the weirdly extended Pembroke family have been provided with trust funds and alimony, yet they're simmering with decades-old resentments and obsessed with their anticipated inheritances. All are unhappy, except for Ian.
It falls to Ian to figure out who killed Moira - and to keep his father alive. Someone's trying to kill Malcolm too, perhaps because he's been spending money wildly in defiance of his greedy family.
The plot encompasses lots of warped family dynamics, charming exchanges between Malcolm and Ian, escapist travels (to foil the killer) and exciting scenes at racetracks around the world.
For readers who have trouble dealing with a plethora of characters, there's a list of all the Pembrokes and their relationships in the front of the book. But I found the story so skillfully written that I never had to consult it.
I cheerfully recommend Hot Money, along with every other Dick Francis novel. (Cheerfully because his books always leave me feeling good.)
Malcolm Pembroke is easily the book's most compelling character. A gold arbitrageur of uncanny business instincts, he's earned the nickname "Midas" many times over in his field of work. Malcolm is a force of nature, a man of great daring and alarming impulses and breathtaking appetites. A close shave with death has colored his disposition, swaying him to spend and throw away vast amounts of his fortune, such flagrant expenditure subsequently sending his sprawling extended family into a tizzy - the three surviving ex-wives and their avaricious brood, the lot of them gone panicky over the state of their inheritance. Theirs is an unwelcome attention to Malcolm, their nagging and picking away at him. Could Ian please play bodyguard? Could he play sleuth?
Except that Malcolm and Ian's mending fences would prove to be the opposite of panacea to Malcolm's woes. It dawns on a horrified Ian, desperate to keep his father from harm, that this is all very personal to the killer, that it may be someone utterly known and familiar to him and his father. For Ian comes the daunting bit - where, to root out a serial murderer, he must wander into a viper's nest and get to know his poisonous family and their crisscrossing motives, them what's universally despised him and been envious of him, their rancor enflamed anew with his recent making up with the golden goose. See, true or not, Ian had always been viewed as Malcolm's favorite.
Malcolm is the most compelling character, but "quiet, well-behaved, cautious Ian" is himself a damn engaging fellow, a steady presence and, to quote Malcolm, "bossy in his quiet way." Unlike some of Francis' other mysteries, in which we're readily afforded the identity of the big bad, HOT MONEY is a true whodunit in which the hero is forced to work hard to solve the case. In Ian's case, it means digging into the past and picking the scabs off a wasteland of devastated marriages and navigating his way thru a cacophony of seething half-siblings. Francis does a wonder by giving each character their own distinct trait, never mind that most of them only get the most fleeting of "camera time." I never forgot who each character was and what motivated them. It's an imposing ball of yarn that Francis expertly unravels with eye-catching detail and lucid character work. I also appreciate that Francis balances the detective work with the real life that goes on around Ian and Malcolm. One can't very well spend the entire time obsessed with fearing and unearthing a killer, and the plot reflects that. Life does go on, and some of my favorite bits are those passages in which the globetrotting father and son get to know each other all over again as Malcolm ushers himself into Ian's horseracing world and picks up an addictive new habit (buying and racing horses!), as staid, stick-in-the-mud Ian feels a fire being kindled under him. HOT MONEY, with its knack for suspense and its full-bodied protagonists and its explosive family drama, is effortlessly one of Francis' best. But I feel like I say that about each of his books.
The novel is an interesting whodunit as first Malcomb's fifth wife is murdered, and then attempts are made on his life. There are many people with motives, mainly in the family. His son Ian, the only child he trusts, helps unravel the mystery. The story illustrates how money can corrupt a family. While the reader can make some guesses, the ending is not obvious.
is half brothers and sisters to find out whodunit. What is remarkable is that the reader really has no problem keeping track of
all these people. They each have very distinctive personalities and . . . problems. A great read.
As always with Dick Francis the Characters are easily acceptable as real and the decadence of Horse Racing is prevalent with trips to Paris, USA and Australia within a book that brings together a cast of extended family and subtle clues to the murderer and a final last gasp when the depth of the crime committed is revealed.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Although this is not a typical mystery, this book is one of the best I have...Read more
the next page like all of his other books I have read.Read more