Wednesday, April 7

Enquiry - Dick Francis

Jockey Kelly Hughes thought the Steward's Enquiry was a formality - that's what Cranfield, Squelch's trainer, said and as Kelly knew they hadn't rigged the race that Squelch lost he wasn't too worried. Not until the Enquiry was underway and it became clear that Lord Gowery had no interest in uncovering the truth - in combination with lying witnesses, videotape of the wrong race, trumped up photographs and the appearance of conspiracy and bribe, it comes as no surprise when Hughes and Cranfield have their licenses withdrawn.
Cranfield may be reduced to suicidal despair, but Kelly's made of stronger stuff. Determined to clear his name and restore his career, he begins investigating who set him up, and why. In the process he endangers his life, becomes estranged from his already-distant family, and finds love from an unexpected quarter.
I've written before about the unexpected pleasure of Francis's work, and Enquiry is no exception. Published over forty years ago, it's a little dated but for the most part manages to be surprisingly contemporary, though one hopes the class system in Britain is a little less rigid now. A true delight. - Alex

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