This is a classic mystery from Dick Francis, the champion of English storytellers.
Ex-steeplechaser Randall Drew is reluctantly off to pre-Olympic games Moscow, as a favour to royalty.
One of the blue bloods is destined to compete in the games and there are concerns - both of safety and of scandal - that only Drew, with his racing connections, can clear up.
On arriving - speaking no Russian and wishing he were back home - Drew is supposed to identify and contact one Alyosha to clear up the scandal.
Instead, he finds himself tailed by the KGB and embroiled in foiling a terrorist plot - or die trying.
Home seems an awful long way away - and if he's not careful, he'll be going back in a box...Praise for Dick Francis: "As a jockey, Dick Francis was unbeatable when he got into his stride.
The same is true of his crime writing". (Daily Mirror). "Dick Francis' fiction has a secret ingredient - his inimitable knack of grabbing the reader's attention on page one and holding it tight until the very end". (Sunday Telegraph). "The narrative is brisk and gripping and the background researched with care ...the entire story is a pleasure to relish". (Scotsman). "Francis writing at his best". (Evening Standard). "A regular winner ...as smooth, swift and lean as ever". (Sunday Express). Dick Francis was one of the most successful post-war National Hunt jockeys.
The winner of over 350 races, he was champion jockey in 1953/1954 and rode for HM Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, most famously on Devon Loch in the 1956 Grand National.
On his retirement from the saddle, he published his autobiography, The Sport of Queens, before going on to write forty-three bestselling novels, a volume of short stories (Field of 13), and the biography of Lester Piggott.
During his lifetime Dick Francis received many awards, amongst them the prestigious Crime Writers' Association's Cartier Diamond Dagger for his outstanding contribution to the genre, and three 'best novel' Edgar Allan Poe awards from The Mystery Writers of America.
In 1996 he was named by them as Grand Master for a lifetime's achievement.
In 1998 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List of 2000.
Dick Francis died in February 2010, at the age of eighty-nine, but he remains one of the greatest thriller writers of all time.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 352 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 03/07/2014
- Category: Crime & mystery
- ISBN: 9781405916769