Excerpt from Second Wind by Dick Francis, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Second Wind

by Dick Francis

Second Wind
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Oct 1999, 293 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2000, 272 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"I've seen him tear them up," Bell said.

So had I. A form of suicide, I'd thought: but better to kill a poem than himself.

Bell turned her back on Kris and said there was food in the dining room. There were also white-clothed tables and caterers' gold chairs and an autumnal buffet suitable for millionaires and hungry weathermen. I collected disgracefully full plate and was welcomed by an insistent Evelyn Darcy into a space on a round table where her husband and four other guests were munching roast grouse with concentration.

The four unknowns and I went through the usual recognition routine and a promise that it wouldn't rain before bedtime; and I smiled and answered them placidly because in fact I liked my job very much, and good public relations never hurt.

Two of the unknowns slowly identified themselves as George Loricroft, distinguished, forty-five, top-dog racehorse trainer, and his blonde and over-shapely young wife, Glenda. Every time Glenda spoke, her dominating husband either contradicted or interrupted her. Glenda's nervous titter hid some razor-sharp resentment, I'd have said.

Evelyn Darcy, who besides the three rows of pearls, the black dress and the gray-silver over-lacquered hair was decidedly nosy, had no inhibitions about question time. She wanted to know-and used her loud voice to get attention-whether Kris and I earned a fortune for our many onscreen appearances. How else could Kris afford the upkeep of an airplane?

Everyone heard her. Kris across the room gave me a comical look, half choked with laughter and yelled her an answer.

"We're both civil servants. We get civil service pay. You all pay us . . . and it's not enough to fund a month of condoms."

Reactions to this intimate and inaccurate revelation varied from laughter among the guests to distaste and embarrassment. I peacefully ate my grouse. Being a friend of Kris's meant being willing to accept the whole package. He could have said far worse. He had done, in the past.

Evelyn Darcy enjoyed the ripples. Robin looked long-suffering at her side. George Loricroft, the constant wife repressor, checked with me that we did indeed get civil service pay and I unexcitedly agreed that yes we did, and why not, we gave a public service.

Oliver Quigley at that point inserted a chair where there was hardly enough space for it between Evelyn and myself and behaved in general as if the military police were hot on his trail for unspeakable offenses. Did the man never relax? "I wanted to say to you," he more or less stuttered into my lunch, "that I had a sort of pamphlet in the post yesterday from a new sort of organization that offers . . . er, well, I mean, it's worth a try, you know . . ."

"Offers what?" I asked without pressing interest as he rambled to a halt.

"Well . . . er . . . a personalized reading of the weather."

"A private firm?" I asked. "Is that it?"

"Well . . . yes. You give the . . . er, by e-mail of course . . . the time and place where you want to know what weather to expect and you get the answer back at once."

"Fascinating," I said dryly.

"Haven't you heard of it? Bit of competition for you, isn't it?"

If he'd had more courage, what he'd said would have neared sarcasm. As it was, I finished the excellent grouse and fried breadcrumbs and smiled without annoyance.

"You go ahead and sign on with them, Mr. Quigley," I said. "Fine."

"I didn't expect you to say that!" he exclaimed. "I mean . . . don't you mind?"

"Not in the least."

Robin Darcy leaned forward and asked me from across his wife and the shaky trainer. "How much do you charge Mr. Quigley for saying to run Caspar's filly on Friday?"

Oliver Quigley might be nervous, but not stupid. He listened, and understood. He opened and closed his mouth and would, I knew, continue to tap me for accurate info that he didn't have to pay for.

From Second Wind by Dick Francis. Uused by permission of the publisher - Putnam.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Book That Matters Most
    The Book That Matters Most
    by Ann Hood
    BookBrowse First Impression reviewers appreciated the innovative structure of The Book That Matters ...
  • Book Jacket: The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko
    The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko
    by Scott Stambach
    BookBrowse First Impression reviewers were uniformly impressed by this difficult yet heartwarming ...
  • Book Jacket: Boy Erased
    Boy Erased
    by Garrard Conley
    Growing up in rural Arkansas, Garrard Conley did not quite fit the mold of his strait-laced, ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko
    by Scott Stambach

    "An auspicious, gut-wrenching, wonderful debut." - Kirkus, starred review

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Underground Airlines
    by Ben Winters

    "The Invisible Man meets Blade Runner in this outstanding alternate history thriller." - PW Star

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
This Must Be the Place
by Maggie O'Farrell

An irresistible love story for fans of Beautiful Ruins and Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Lady Cop Makes Trouble

The Kopp Sisters Return!

One of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs returns in another gripping adventure based on fact.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Manners M (T) M

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.