Summary and book reviews of Second Wind by Dick Francis

Second Wind

By Dick Francis

Second Wind
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     Not Yet Rated
  • Hardcover: Oct 1999,
    293 pages.
    Paperback: Oct 2000,
    272 pages.

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Book Summary

Dick Francis takes us on his most electrifying, death-defying ride yet in Second Wind.

The catastrophic power of a giant hurricane can raise coastal waves thirty feet high and blow through houses at devastating speeds. For TV meteorologist Perry Stuart, however, such predictions are generally hypothetical, as he chiefly predicts periods of English drizzle, with bursts of heavier rain and sunshine to follow. Stuart's profound weather knowledge and accuracy have given him high status among forecasters, but no physical baptism by storm.

Not, that is, until a fellow forecaster offers him a Caribbean hurricane-chasing ride in a small airplane as a holiday diversion. But a frightening accident teaches Stuart more secrets than wind speeds . . . and back home in England he faces threats and danger as deadly as anything nature can evolve.

Dick Francis "has simply never failed. Every one of his opening sentences pulls the reader in, and doesn't let go until the last, perfect word," according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Second Wind may be his greatest triumph yet.

Prologue

DELIRIUM BRINGS COMFORT to the dying.

I had lived in an ordered world. Salary had mattered, and timetables. My grandmother belonged there with her fears.

"But isn't there a risk?" she asked.

You bet your life there's a risk.

"No," I said. "No risk."

"Surely flying into a hurricane must be risky?"

"I'll come back safe," I said.

But now, near dead as dammit, I tumbled like a rag-doll piece of flotsam in towering gale-driven seas that sucked unimaginable tons of water from the deeps and hurled them along in liquid mountains faster than a Derby gallop. Sometimes the colossal waves swept me inexorably with them. Sometimes they buried me until my agonized lungs begged the ultimate relief of inhaling anything, even water, when only air would keep the engine turning.

I'd swallowed gagging amounts of Caribbean salt.

It had been night for hours, with no gleam anywhere. I was losing all perception of which way was up. Which way was air. My arms and ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews
Publishers Weekly

Francis's writing is smooth and intelligent.

Kirkus Reviews

[Francis] does a masterly job building portents of doom......[and delivers] his usual unobtrusive technical mastery.

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