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by Fiacre Douglas,Dick Francis

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Author: Fiacre Douglas,Dick Francis
ISBN: 1587880636
Language: English
Category: Thrillers & Suspense
Publisher: Brilliance Audio; Unabridged edition (September 11, 2000)
Rating: 4.4
Formats: lrf lrf mobi azw
FB2 size: 1442 kb | EPUB size: 1112 kb | DJVU size: 1702 kb

Modern Literature, British Literature, English Literature, Fiction, Novels, General Fiction, Adult Fiction, Adult, Sports, England, Mystery, Crime, Thriller, Suspense, Animals, 21th Century, 2000s, Horses, Murder, Horse Racing, Racing. Dick Francis left school at 15 without any qualifications, intending to become a jockey; by the time he was 18, in 1938, he also was training horses. Francis became a highly successful jockey, reaching celebrity status in the world of British National Hunt racing.

Listen to unlimited audiobooks on the web, iPad, iPhone and Android. To survive, he realizes that he himself must sort out the truth. The final race to the tape throws more hazards in Logan's way than his dead jockey friend could ever have imagined. Logan doesn'. ut it's a close-run thing. Read on the Scribd mobile app.

Discover new books on Goodreads. See if your friends have read any of Fiacre Douglas's books. Fiacre Douglas’s Followers (1). Fiacre Douglas. Fiacre Douglas’s books.

Shattered is vintage francis. The Knoxville News-Sentinel. has the uncanny ability to turn out simply plotted yet charmingly addictive mysteries. master of crime fiction. The Wall Street Journal. A rare and magical talent. who never writes the same story twice. Few writers have maintained such a high standard of excellence for as long as Dick Francis. The San Diego Union-Tribune. Few things are more convincing than Dick Francis at a full gallop. Francis just gets better and better.

Narrated by Fiacre Douglas.

Richard Stanley Francis CBE FRSL (31 October 1920 – 14 February 2010) was a British crime writer, and former steeplechase jockey, whose novels centre on horse racing in England. After wartime service in the RAF, Francis became a full-time jump-jockey, winning over 350 races and becoming champion jockey of the British National Hunt.

Narrated by: Fiacre Douglas. Dick Francis’ witty blend of horseplay and mystery is an incredible combination. As a result, each of his equestrian novels gallops onto best-seller lists. In Twice Shy, Dick Francis whips up a fast-paced race through the risky world of horse betting. It begins when, offering little explanation, a friend thrusts some cassette tapes into Jonathan Derry’s hands. But when the young man tries to play them, he realizes that, instead of Oklahoma!, he’s been given taped computer programs. Another Dick Francis masterpiece! By Crystal Hatley on 11-02-16.

Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

This said, there's no way listeners will be bored with this audio thoroughbred. Trade Ed., Brilliance Audio, 2000.

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When jockey Martin Stukely dies after a fall at Cheltenham, he accidentally embroils his friend Gerard Logan in a perilous search for a stolen videotape. Logan is a glassblower on the verge of widespread acclaim. Long accustomed to the frightful dangers inherent in molten glass and in maintaining a glassmaking furnace at never less than 1800 degrees Fahrenheit, Logan is suddenly faced with terrifying threats to his business, his courage, and his life. Believing that the missing video holds the key to a priceless treasure, and wrongly convinced that Logan knows where to find it, criminal forces set out to press him for information he doesn't have. To survive, he realizes that he himself must sort out the truth. The final race to the tape throws more hazards in Logan's way than his dead jockey friend could ever have imagined. Glass shatters. Logan doesn't. . . but it's a close-run thing.
Comments (7)
“But your bruises... ,” she protested.
“Those marks. They’re terrible.”
“I can’t feel them.”

(Logan recently severely beaten by the villains)

“I felt nothing indeed except the rare sort of excitement that came with revelation.”

(This mental ecstasy- from ‘artistic revelation’ - foundation of this book.)

“I’d burned myself often enough on liquid glass and not felt it. That Sunday night the concept of one detective darkly achieving insight into the sins of others, and then the possibility that good could rise above sin and fly, these drifting thoughts set up in me in effect a mental anesthesia, so that I could bleed and suffer on one level and feel it only later after the flame of imagination had done its stuff.”

(‘Flame of imagination’ is ‘mental anesthesia’!)

“Sometimes in the disengagement from this sort of thing, the vision had shrunk to disappointment and ash, and when that happened I would leave the no-good piece on the marver table and not handle it carefully into an annealing oven. After a while, its unresolved internal strains would cause it to self-destruct, to come to pieces dramatically with a cracking noise; to splinter, to fragment... to shatter.”

(The shattering of the glass figurines serves as the metaphor for the shattering of the internal character of the villains.)

“It could be for onlookers an unnerving experience, to see an apparently solid object disintegrate for no visible reason. For me the splitting apart symbolized merely the fading and insufficiency of the original thought.”

“That night I made Catherine Dodd in three pieces that later I would join together. I made not a literal lifelike sculpture of her head, but an abstract of her daily occupation. I made it basically as a soaring upward spread of wings, black and shining at the base, rising through a black, white and clear center to a high rising pinion with streaks of gold shining to the top.”

This ability to create an ‘abstraction’ of concrete reality sets Logan apart. His apprentice can’t . . . just . . . can’t do it. Envy dives his heart against his teacher. He proclaims viscously . . .

“I wish we had broken your wrists.”

(For a professional glassblower - devastating!)

“You and your fancy ways and your condescending comments about my work. I hate you and this workshop. I’m a damn good glassblower and I deserve more recognition.”
“He raised his chin and sneered.”
“One day,” he went on, “John Hickory will be a name worth knowing and people will smash Logan Glass to get to mine.”
Such a shame, I thought. He really did have some talent but, I suspected, it would never be allowed to develop as it should. Arrogance and a belief in skills he didn’t have would smother those he did.”

The importance, the need of humility to reach the highest artistic level, is another theme.

“Glassblowers were commonly arrogant people, chiefly because the skill was so difficult to learn. Hickory already showed signs of arrogance but if he became a notable expert he would have to be forgiven. As for myself, my uncle (as arrogant as they came) had insisted that I learn humility first, second and third, and had refused to let me near his furnace until I’d shed every sign of what he called “cockiness.”

“Cockiness” had broken out regularly after his death, humbling me when I recognized it. It had taken perhaps ten years before I had it licked, but vigilance would be necessary for life.”


Another is the ‘internal strain that shatters the villain’.

“She hates you. Have you noticed?” I told him I had indeed noticed.
“But I don’t know why.”

(This analysis of envious hatred serves to explain reason for the story.)

“You’d want a psychiatrist to explain it properly, but I’ll tell you for zilch what I’ve learned. You’re a man, you’re strong, you look OK, you’re successful at your job and you’re not afraid of her; and I could go on, but that’s for starters. Then she has you roughed up, doesn’t she, and here you are looking as good as new, even if you aren’t feeling it, and sticking the finger up in her face, more or less, and believe me, I‘d’ve chucked a rival down the stairs for less, if they as much as yawned in my presence.”

‘I listened to Worthington’s wisdom, but I said, “I haven’t done her any harm.”

(Jealousy implies wanting what another has. Envy means wanting to destroy what another has, or the person.)

“You threaten her. You’re too much for her. You’ll win the tennis match. So maybe she’ll have you killed first. She won’t kill you herself. And don’t ignore what I’m telling you. There are people who really have killed for hate. People who’ve wanted to win.”

As always in Francis work, the title has multiple meanings. The concrete, physical (glass) used to illustrate the abstract, psychological (mind).


This work, at the end of Francis life, does seem to be a personal revelation. But not in the sense of explanation of his activity, but like Logan, an abstract drawing of Francis. His ‘mental fire’ from artistic revelation. His lifelong focus on the basis of real hatred - viscous, cruel, implacable envy.

And then, the courage, the will, the nerve to resist, conquer the evil.


(The 1914 work “Ressentiment” by the famous scholar - Max Scheler, provides a marvelous analysis/synthesis of envy.)
Somehow I only got around to reading "Shattered" just now. It was too sad to think that this was the last of the Dick Francis novels, and, I strongly suspected (correctly, as it turned out), not his best. Still, the experience would not be complete without it.

Like so many of Francis's novels, "Shattered" introduces the reader to a complex and esoteric skill; in this case, glassmaking. Gerard Logan is an up-and-coming young glassmaker who runs a shop in a small village and is friends with a local jockey. When his friend is killed in a tragic racing accident, Gerard finds himself unravelling the mystery he left behind--and on the run for his life.

Francis always had a fascination with new skills, and the ability to convey their intricacy and charm in accessible terms. The glassmaking sections of the book are its high point, as Gerard explains the intricacies of the process and muses on his own strengths and failings as a glassmaker. It's both an art form and a physical skill, and as such predicates its practitioners to hubris. Gerard is aware of the problem, while also not immune to the intense feeling of love and pride that artists can feel for their own creations. His honestly confessed pleasure in his own work is a nice touch, and, funnily enough, links him not so much with Francis's other artist-heroes, most of whom suffer serious self-doubt, but with his intellectuals and athletes; his admiration of his past work is highly reminiscent of the accountant Ro's admiration of his past cleverness in "Risk."

The action sequences, however, are not at top form, despite some very exciting stuff with molten glass. Gerard never really has to suffer and struggle and overcome his own mental and physical shortcomings the way previous heroes do, and it makes the book a bit flat by comparison. Instead, it's the female villain Rose who does the suffering and struggling and summoning of all her nerve. Indeed, Rose is a curious character and highlights the dangers of a female villain for the writer. She's apparently supposed to be the epitome of terrifying evil, since she resents and fears men and enjoys physically and emotionally dominating them as a result. Perhaps male readers find that more terrifying, or something; to me she didn't seem that frightening at all for most of the book, but rather a figure of pity, as all the men around her hate and fear her for her domineering behavior and physical aggressiveness, which results in the occasional bruise, and for "shopping" her brother-in-law to the police after her leaves her sister with a smashed-in face and multiple shattered ribs. This tellingly asymmetrical juxtaposition of violence is not, alas, explored in more detail, nor is the troublesome question of violence perpetrated by the oppressed and abused, or the question of what "justice" would mean in male-female relations and how, in fact, the very concept of justice founders on the rocks of that problem.

Anyway, "Shattered" may not be Francis's absolutely best work, but it's still got a lot going for it, and reminds us that the great master will be sorely missed.
Golden freddi
An excellent story and very well told by a person who, when much younger, was a fighter pilot fighting the Battle of Britain with the RAF. Following the war, he was a steeplechase Jockey, riding horses belonging to the Queen Mother. He was a champion jockey on several occasions. When he became "too old" for jump racing, he started writing a racing column for a newspaper. He then started writing books and he became one of my favorite authors. His books were all well researched and told in a very interesting and informative manner. His son, Felix, is now continuing his legacy and I think that he is doing a great job.
The most intense thriller I have read to date. For me, this is one of the best novels of the genre.

Indeed, this novel is so intense that I could not read it cover to cover without allowing myself mental breaks.

Imagine average Joe, a hard-working man who comes home to his wife and kids at night. You'd never guess that such a man, married to such a good Christian woman, would have such dark secrets.

Imagine an FBI profiler, a clean cut, smart dressed, African-American who displays the traits of a natural-born leader. Even knowing he was born in Kenya and came to the US as a child, you probably wouldn't expect him to be a shaman.

If you accept that there is such as thing as evil incarnate, and that some people do have extraordinary capabilities that enable "site" with all their senses, then you will most certainly enjoy this work by Jay Bonansinga.