To The Hilt (Francis Thriller)
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Some of it staggering and often delivered by what we would think of normal persons living in British society. You will come to love the world of Steeple Chase racing, you will grow a fondness for horses, stables, trainers and the people who live in that world. You will read the books, devouring one after the other and trust me Dick Francis has a lot of novels over 40 by my last count. There are several series woven into the fabric of Francis's work: notably the Sid Halley and Kit Fielding series. Assessment: Dick Francis is one of my favorite writers. I read his books with a fierce hunger that remains insatiable and I mourn his death.
May 25, Carol rated it really liked it. I always enjoy reading a good Dick Francis novel. They are pretty clean, the language isn't too bad, and not a lot of sex Sometimes I even reread the books, because it's like being with a friend you haven't seen in several years. I really enjoy the characters he uses, and also enjoy the series he writes about too. View 1 comment. Dec 24, E. After that they were just good. It's also one of the last of his "artist-hero" books, this time about Alexander Kincaid, nephew to the laird yes, really and semi-starving artist, who lives in a bothie in the Highlands and paints golf courses yes, really.
He's the family outcast who is called upon to save the family finances and honor when things go awry. There are more or less three intertwined p "To the Hilt" is, I'll be honest, the last in my opinion of Francis's really, really good novels. There are more or less three intertwined plots in this book: the story of Al's fight to save his mother from ruin and disgrace when his stepfather passes away, the story of the hunt for the family heirloom, a sword hilt that had once supposedly belonged to Bonnie Prince Charlie, and the story of Al's painting of a portrait that may or may not turn out all right.
It's a testament to Francis's technique that all are equally engrossing, and one worries quite a bit over whether or not Al will be satisfied with the result of his latest painting. It's also a story of the harsh beauty of wilderness and the perfidy of the humans who sometimes populate it, and the spirit of resistance against said harshness and perfidy. A lyrical novel, as befits its subject matter, that is also a gripping thriller. Sep 06, Hannah rated it it was amazing Shelves: mysteries.
Dick Francis is quickly becoming my favorite mystery author, and one of my favorite authors in general! Every time I sit down with one of his books usually hungering for something engrossing and interesting , I almost always have it finished by the next day, because I can't stop reading. Why would I want to? His stories are fast-paced, his characters charming and likeable without being too generic, and his plots intricately and well-constructed. It's just fun to read his stuff.
And I almost alw Dick Francis is quickly becoming my favorite mystery author, and one of my favorite authors in general! And I almost always learn from them, which is bizarre. From "Shattered" I learned more than I'd ever known before about glasswork. From "Nerve" I learned an immense amount about steeplechase jockeys and the horse-racing world in general.
I don't mean to get this information, it's just part of the story! This book actually deals less with the world of racing than any of the other Dick Francis mysteries I've read. The hero, Alexander Kinloch, is an artist living alone in the wilds of Scotland on land owned by his Earl uncle referred to in the book as "Himself" , and the only horses in the book are the ones Al paints and the horse he has to hide for his ailing stepfather, whose company has been plundered from within and is heading towards bankruptcy.
The characters in this story are enjoyable and fleshed out, the dialogue is enjoyable as ever, and it's a jem among an already fantastic trove of stories. There should be a catagory for leisure reading that's still intellectual and engaging.
ISBN 13: 9780399141850
This book would fit in that catagory perfectly. Solid, entertaining story but a little too easy to put down. May 18, James Adams rated it it was amazing Shelves: suspense-thriller. Another strong showing from Francis, again with his cool prose and strong characters. This time the lead is an eccentric artist dealing with family troubles, of which embezzlement and murder are only two. A tad more brutal than any of his books I've read before, but that is no complaint. Definitely worth a look for fans of suspense novels in general, and of Francis in particular. My 32nd Dick Francis book and I really enjoyed it-read in one sitting on a Sunday morning.
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A reclusive artist gets drawn into a family crisis when his stepfather suffers a heart attack. Aug 31, Sue rated it really liked it Shelves: mystery , scotland , england. Alexander Kinloch wants nothing more than to be able to stay at his mountain retreat in Scotland and paint and earn his living. All of which he is doing until the day he returns from a trip to town for mail and supplies and is greeted by 4 thugs who rough him up considerably while demanding "where is it?
While on his trip to town, he'd learned that his stepfather had had a heart attack and his mother was requesting his prese Alexander Kinloch wants nothing more than to be able to stay at his mountain retreat in Scotland and paint and earn his living. While on his trip to town, he'd learned that his stepfather had had a heart attack and his mother was requesting his presence.
So, banged up, he went and it was there that he began to learn what it was that the thugs were after. Al convinces his stepfather to name him as power of attorney and he begins to investigate to try to save the family brewery. Unfortunately, there are several people who would prefer that he not be looking into the financial trail I think this is one of the best ones I've read.
As is typical of Dick Francis, horses play a role but this one isn't in and around the stables the way many of the books are. Here he's trying to preserve some family treasures, one of which happens to be a horse, along with a prominent racing cup and a sword hilt. This holds true to formula in that he has to get banged up a bit before it is all sorted out and the bad guys are led off. Even though it follows a general pattern, the twists and turns are unique. In the end you're left with a feeling of satisfaction about this likeable guy who shows his ingenuity and the extent to which he'd go to help the family.
Apr 11, Kay rated it it was amazing. Years ago I'd read several books by Dick Francis. They were fun but slight. This book written in was a surprise--quite substantial with interesting themes. Since I'm going to Scotland next month, I also enjoyed the bits of Scottish history thrown in. A near perfect crime story. Feb 25, David rated it it was amazing. Nothing like a Dick Francis classic to get me back into 5-stars.
This is one of my favorites in his collection. A great mix of characters, and the story lines keep you flipping the pages. I enjoyed the complicated batch of relationships in this story. Oct 20, Mhd rated it really liked it. Maybe it's not in my top-ten-Francis, but it was very enjoyable. Very likable characters. Unusual location and interesting art milieu.
And, I expect to reread it someday. Good book. Aug 16, Julie Hodgson rated it it was amazing. This is the first and only one of Dick Francis novels I have read.
I thoroughly enjoyed it. View 2 comments. Jun 13, Jenny Lee rated it really liked it. All the components of a good thriller. Mar 21, Joan Maclin rated it really liked it. A cleverly written book with suitably eccentric characters and an very inventive plot.
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I enjoyed the sense of place that is rather key to the story It inspired a very minimal bit of research that I may find time to continue Read on recommendation, I also liked this book because it is one I'm very unlikely to have discovered on my own. I perhaps will not race out to read other Francis volumes but suspect I'l A cleverly written book with suitably eccentric characters and an very inventive plot.
I perhaps will not race out to read other Francis volumes but suspect I'll enjoy other in good time. Apr 22, Martina rated it really liked it Shelves: crime. I realize that there is a common thread in Francis' novels - you've got a good guy who basically gets in the thick of events by circumstance, or because other people like piling their problems upon him.
Of course, somewhere in there is a strong or feeble link with horse racing, another of Francis' trademarks. Summed up like that I realize that there is a common thread in Francis' novels - you've got a good guy who basically gets in the thick of events by circumstance, or because other people like piling their problems upon him. Summed up like that, that recipe sounds quite formulaic.
To the Hilt by Francis, Dick
But in the case of To the hilt , it works. And I mean, works. The novel opens up with a bang, i. He quickly becomes involved in various family matters, and from there, things start to get interesting. I really enjoyed reading the novel, simply because it's well written, and got me so hooked that I had to keep reading in even when I wasn't supposed to view spoiler [during my lectures hide spoiler ]. The body count is not high, far from it, but that doesn't detract from the plot, which is interesting and flows with a nice pace.
The novel is a bit unconventional in the sense that the main character is just caught up in consequences which were not of his doing, but still exerts himself on behalf of his family members , even though there is nothing in it for him. In all reality, Alexander just wants to live his solitary life and paint.
To The Hilt
All in all, this is a nice, fun read for people who have time on their hands, but don't want a hard 'n' heavy thriller. A descendant of the Scottish earl to whom the prince gave the hilt, narrator Alexander Kinloch lives in an unelectrified bothy in the Scottish mountains, supporting himself through his paintings. Al's keen visual sense allows him to draw the faces of the four thugs who beat him and tear apart his home in the opening chapt TO THE HILT - Ex Francis, Dick - 35th book The "hilt" refers to the jewel-encrusted, solid gold handle of the ceremonial sword of Scotland's would-be king, Bonnie Prince Charlie.
Al's keen visual sense allows him to draw the faces of the four thugs who beat him and tear apart his home in the opening chapter. Hard on the beating, Al must rush to London to comfort his mother in the aftermath of her husband's heart attack. Al learns that his stepfather's brewery is about to collapse because the finance director has absconded with millions of pounds. In desperation, the business affairs of the brewery are turned over to Al, though he pines for solitude, his easel and the mountains. A Francis novel wouldn't be complete without thoroughbred racing; in fact, Al's estranged wife is a race trainer, and one of the many things Al has to hide is Golden Malt, his stepfather's steeplechaser, slated to run in the King Alfred Gold Cup?
If I had to pick one Francis book as my favorite, this might be it, probably because I love the setting in Scotland, bagpipes and the idea of family history and tradition. This, and "Decider" are two of his books I re-read frequently. Jul 14, Lemar rated it it was amazing Shelves: brit-lit , mystery. For some reason I normally give Dick Francis books four stars despite the fact that they are uniformly well researched, superbly written and contain hard won truths about human and equine psychology. Happily I seem to have missed this one when it came out and it was a delight, reminding me why he is my most read author.
Dick Francis expanded the role of mystery protagonists from hard boiled Private Investigators and tough cops to a panoply of professions surrounding his world, horse racing. The For some reason I normally give Dick Francis books four stars despite the fact that they are uniformly well researched, superbly written and contain hard won truths about human and equine psychology. The reader feels that he or she could indeed use their own mix of brains and courage to ferret out crooks and, by out thinking them, put right their crimes.
The hero of To The Hilt fits this mold in that his chief weapons are perseverance, intelligence and a deeply held belief in right and wrong. He can not take on four assailants at once but he can use his brain to see instances that crooks are blinded by their greed and their view of humanity. This was one of his last books and it delivers in every way. Dec 09, Ritwik rated it liked it. Just another book one would pick if he had time to spare and explore new authors.
Not as fast-paced and gripping as promised but definitely a page turner. Never really was big fan of the type of novels which had the protagonist narrating because in my opinion it makes it quite easier for the sake of writing as it excludes the point of view of the other characters,no parallel development or giving other characters a strong personality which fails to make the characters other than the lead memor Just another book one would pick if he had time to spare and explore new authors. Never really was big fan of the type of novels which had the protagonist narrating because in my opinion it makes it quite easier for the sake of writing as it excludes the point of view of the other characters,no parallel development or giving other characters a strong personality which fails to make the characters other than the lead memorable and lovable.
The story seemed quite simple to me and predictable at times unlike any Agatha Christie books. I am not acquainted to any other Dick Francis' works so I am not in a position to judge him or compare him to other authors but the book didn't quite strike a chord. Not highly recommendable but not disappointing either. A leisure time read that will engage you but will not leave a lasting impression. Francis does his usual, picking two or three non-racing topics to dive into details on. In this it is painting and international bank transfers.
You get some of the typical bad guys, and a protagonist that is just doing his best, one who is smart. These seem to also be part of the Francis formula. He also adds some humorous characters and events for a change, and I found this greatly added to the enjoyment of the book. I kept imagining a young Benny Hill for the private eye. For international deliveries we will hold your order until we can send you all your items at once. If your order weighs more than 1. Please note that some countries may charge the recipient duties on the 'import' of parcels from time-to-time.
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Buy securely. Book of the Month. Authors Tim Winton Sarah J. Top Pick. To the Hilt Dick Francis. PaperBack June 1, From the acclaimed master of mystery and suspense comes the story of a self-imposed outcast who must refresh his detection skills in order to save himself and his family. Check your local Dymocks store for stock. Enter your postcode: Please enter a valid postcode. Please note that prices may vary between www. Sorry, an error occurred while checking availability.
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