16 May 2011
Yes, there are horses in 10lb Penalty. What Dick Francis novel lacks equines? But in many ways, they are irrelevant. This is a story of father and son -- and politics. It's a book I thoroughly enjoyed reading -- and re-reading. But as a writer, what particularly intrigued me was its timeframe.
I don't think it's a spoiler to say the book covers years. Years -- yet it's a thriller. So often, tension is ratcheted up by decreasing the timeframe. Look at the success of the tv show, 24. But in 10lb Penalty, Francis uses the leisurely timeframe to develop the tension. Sure, it's not highwire stuff, but it works. The book is an interesting, comfortable read.