Brilliance Audio is first out of the starting gate with this recording of Francis's 40th book, which may be one of his most compelling yet. The novel starts with Perry Stuart fighting for his life in the towering hurricane-driven sea and is a nonstop page-turner until the last word, taking us inside the modern worlds of meteorology, physics, and terrorism. Stuart, BBC meteorologist, has always wanted to fly through a hurricane. When he gets his chance, he finds that stormy weather is the least of his problems, for the safe harbor he finds on an uninhabited island will lead to later deaths and even targets Stuart for terrorist attacks. The performance by Michael Page is guaranteed to be a winner with mystery and suspense fans. This story shows that Francis, Grand Master of mystery and three-time Poe Award winner, has not retired from writing thrillers. Recommended for all libraries.--Theresa Connors, Arkansas Tech Univ., Russellville Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
With his 40th novel in as many years, grand master Dick Francis isn't up to his usual high standards, but fans know that even a subpar Francis is in the 95th percentile. Here the typical Francis hero is a young Englishman of a vanishing breed: smart, self-effacing although very good at his job, polite and thoroughly decent. Perry Stuart is a well-known TV weatherman for the BBC who was orphaned as a child and raised by his beloved, now crippled grandmother, who remains tartly sensible ("If you can't fix it, think about something else"). Joining fellow BBC weatherman Kris Ironside on a flying jaunt into the eye of a Caribbean hurricane, Perry survives when the plane crashes and washes up on a tiny, apparently abandoned island where the houses were destroyed by the hurricane. In a hut, he stumbles across a safe containing a mysterious file folder whose contents he cannot decipher. After a crew wearing radiation-protection suits arrive by air to rescue him, Perry's troubles are only beginning, as he slowly becomes aware of a sinister scheme in which well-off people are brokering enriched uranium to foreign nogoodniks. Among the cast are mushroom mogul Robin Darcy and his flashy American wife, two old SIS spooksÄthink an aging James Bond and a tottery MÄand a beautiful nurse who is Perry's circumspect love interest. Perry continues to encounter danger: the sabotage of another plane he's on, threats by a muscle-bound thug in Grand Cayman. Francis's writing is smooth and intelligent, moving the reader right along, but the end of the book is more than a tad far-fetched. Still, ex-RAF pilot and champion steeplechaser Francis knows his stuffÄand of course race courses figure in the plot. BOMC main selection; Audio Books main selection; 3-city author tour. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.