My first review of a Dick Francis novel was appreciative but not wowed. I stand by it. But having just read Francis's Wild Horses, in all fairness I should review it because it is a much better book. It's not often a mystery writer can lead me up the garden path, but Francis managed it with one of the sub-mysteries.
Woven into the characters are interesting reflections on the experience of old age and a very interesting discussion on the value of entertainment as a profession occurs later in the book.
The framework of making a movie makes for a tight, tense plot with the action accelerating.