Hands Down is the latest installment in the Sid Halley series of books. Set against the backdrop of horse racing this one has Sid with a new arm to replace the prosthetic one. His marriage in on the rocks and despite giving up investigating, he's drawn into another mystery when one of his friend's stables is burnt down. When his friend turns up dead, apparently by suicide, then he can't resist the urge to investigate, assisted once again by Chicco.
I don't know why I liked the Dick/Felix Francis novels so much. Horse racing leaves me cold, yet I can lose myself in the equine world. The books are easy to read, filled with atmosphere. Each one features part of the world of horse racing that you never knew existed. I've been reading them since the seventies, yet each book opens another insight into horse racing. I don't think I've come across a bad one in all those years.
Felix has done a remarkable job of carrying on the series since the death of his father. The books are still fresh and exciting. The last two, including this one have dealt with mental illness or psychological problems. This one it's how someone reacts to a hand transplant. The last was anxiety. It's been a welcome addition to the books, giving another layer to the story. I have to say I like the current direction.
Hands Down is an enjoyable read from the Francis stable. Highly recommended, even if you don't like horse racing.