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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,531 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Dick Francis Narrator: Ralph Cosham Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2017 ISBN: 9781538462850
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Edward Lincoln is a worldwide celebrity who plays impossibly daring detectives on the big screen, but in reality he is an ordinary man currently stuck in an extraordinary spot. Nerissa, his ailing godmother, had pleaded with him to travel to South Africa to investigate whether someone was tampering with her racehorses. He could not refuse her.

Once there, Lincoln is overwhelmed by autograph hounds and high suspicions. And when sudden perils cross his path and murder makes a horrific appearance, Lincoln, the actor-turned-investigator, is plunged into a plot of gold, greed, and gilded lives. He ultimately realizes that the only way to uncover the killer is to give not only the performance of his life, but a performance to save his life.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Wonderfully vivid and sinister.”

    Sunday Times (London)

  • “No one sets the scene more vividly or keeps the reader in a more acute state of pleasurable agony.”

    Daily Telegraph (London)

  • “Certainly his best thriller.”

    Evening Standard (London)

  • “A nonstop international thriller that pits dashing movie actor Edward Lincoln against more than big-screen villains.”

    Library Journal

  • “A supersized action-suspense story.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heidi Thomas | 2/17/2014

    " Even though this is an older book, I thoroughly enjoyed Francis' writing and the story. His horse-racing tales have a enduring quality. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lora | 2/14/2014

    " I keep my Dick Francis books to re-read every few years. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lorraine | 2/12/2014

    " Edward Lincoln, a famous actor, is asked to travel to South Africa to investigate a dying neighbour's racehorses - they are not winning, but their pedigree says that they should be. The hero shuns publicity, but agrees to attend a press conference (where he comes close to being electrocuted) and also agrees to attend a movie premiere. He meets a man who owns a gold mine, and while touring the mine, is again almost murdered. While visiting a safari park, he is kidnapped, drugged and left to die. This was a very short novel (less than 200 pages) and not one of his best. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 B | 2/4/2014

    " An actor, who someone wants to see dead,walks into a devious trap in South Africa. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emma | 2/3/2014

    " Not the usual Dick Francis read of race courses, instead a story of a film star who is in trouble in south Africa. A quick short read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbie | 1/19/2014

    " When I started this one I realized I had already read it. I love his books so would certainly recommend it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deb | 1/17/2014

    " This was a fun little listen. A very classic British murder mystery that takes place in Africa. Witty and straight forward. The reader, Edward Woodward, was wonderful and made this an enjoyable audiobook. Thumbs up! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marie Martin | 12/11/2013

    " Another great Dick Francis. This book was written in 1972 and has hysterical references to clothing styles and furniture. The mystery was very twisty turny. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 A.L. Sowards | 12/2/2013

    " read this a long time ago, but remember liking it "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Charles Finch | 11/6/2013

    " One of the weaker Dick Francis mysteries, still pleasant company. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tammera | 11/2/2013

    " One of my all time favorite mysteries. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Greg Davies | 10/13/2013

    " Gosh I love it when I have a Sunday off, more time to read. More .... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Margaret | 10/2/2013

    " This was the second Francis book we listened to on our trip (after High Stakes) and it was just a hair less enjoyable. Still a good book with a well crafted protagonist, but this book also includes nearly a dozen other characters and I got a tad confused along the way. I still recommend it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Frank | 4/20/2013

    " I think I had heard this on tape, read by "The Equalizer"...a nice light read, I didn't remember much of it, but it passed the plane ride nicely. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julie Blue | 1/23/2013

    " Another exciting thriller from Francis "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laina | 1/21/2013

    " This was the first Dick Francis book I've read, and I was not disappointed. I have a mother who LOVES his writing, and now I am seeing the light. I liked how consistent he stays with his voice throughout the whole novel, and I liked the setting, the plot, and they mystery. It was really very good. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kate Stark | 11/24/2012

    " I didn't love this one as much as I have loved some of his other books, but it was still worth a read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 woody | 10/28/2012

    " Edward Lincoln actor and celebrity is given the task of finding out why his godmother's horses are doing so poorly in South Africa. Little does he know that the investigation will put his life in jeopardy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jan | 9/17/2012

    " Good short book from Dick Francis. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Yvensong | 3/8/2012

    " Another adequate mystery by Dick Francis. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brooke | 11/8/2011

    " Eh, and okay book.....very short which was kind of nice! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 10/15/2011

    " A spare and rather short Francis, with an ending that makes me squirm. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Frank | 8/29/2011

    " I think I had heard this on tape, read by "The Equalizer"...a nice light read, I didn't remember much of it, but it passed the plane ride nicely.

    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Greg | 10/17/2010

    " Gosh I love it when I have a Sunday off, more time to read. More .... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marie | 7/14/2010

    " Another great Dick Francis. This book was written in 1972 and has hysterical references to clothing styles and furniture. The mystery was very twisty turny. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Yvensong | 1/10/2010

    " Another adequate mystery by Dick Francis. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lora | 9/24/2009

    " I keep my Dick Francis books to re-read every few years. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heidi | 9/18/2009

    " Even though this is an older book, I thoroughly enjoyed Francis' writing and the story. His horse-racing tales have a enduring quality. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susanne | 1/5/2009

    " Decent book, but not one of his better ones. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 LJ | 9/12/2008

    " SMOKESCREEN - Ex
    Francis, Dick - 11th book

    A film actor becomes involved in real life action and adventure.

    This is one of my favorite Francis books. A story of survival. Art nearly becomes reality from a move "Man in a Car." Excellent suspense. "

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About the Author
Author Dick Francis

Dick Francis, (1920–2010) a former champion steeplechase jockey, was the author of many bestselling mysteries set in the world of horse racing. The only three-time recipient of the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Award for best novel, his awards include the Gold Dagger, the Cartier Diamond Dagger, the MWA’s Grand Master Award for lifetime achievement, an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Tufts University of Boston, and in 2000 he received a Commander of the British Empire (CBE).

About the Narrator

Ralph Cosham (1936–2014), a.k.a. Geoffrey Howard, was a British journalist who changed careers to become a narrator and screen and stage actor. He performed in more than one hundred professional theatrical roles, and several of his narrations were named “Audio Best of the Year” by Publishers Weekly. In 2013 he won the coveted Audie Award for his narration of Louise Penny’s The Beautiful Mystery.