Iced by Felix Francis

Iced by Felix Francis
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Seven years ago, Miles Pussett was a steeplechase jockey, loving the rush of the race. But after an unfortunate event, he left horseracing behind and swore he would never return. Now he gets his adrenaline rush from riding headfirst down the Cresta Run, a three-quarter-mile Swiss ice chute, reaching speeds of up to eighty miles per hour.

Finding himself in St Moritz during the same weekend as White Turf, when high-class horseracing takes place on the frozen lake, he gets talked into helping out with the horses. Against his better judgement, he decides to assist, but things aren’t as innocent as they seemed.

When he discovers something suspicious is going on in the races, something that may have a profound impact on his future, Miles begins a search for answers. But someone is adamant about stopping him—and they’ll go to any length to do it.

Miles Prussett is a former steeplechase jockey but now gets his adrenaline rushing shooting head first on a toboggan down a Swiss ice chute reaching speeds in excess of eighty miles per hour. While he swore seven years ago never to return to horse racing, he finds himself inexplicably helping out with the White Turf, a high-class racing event that takes place once a year on a frozen lake. Miles uncovers suspicious activity around the horse racing, and against his better instincts he starts to look into it. It’s only too late when he realizes his questions might have consequences and someone is determined to stop him no matter the cost.

I was really pleased to find I enjoyed this book right from the beginning. I am a little hit and miss with Felix Francis so it was a pleasure to find I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I was a little surprised that most of the book delves back and forth in time, the story both explaining how Miles comes to be assisting in the horse race out on the ice, but also how he rose – and then left – the horse racing community from his younger teenage years. I found the author did an excellent job balancing the two timelines, weaving them together to both culminate on the ice in the Championships under the freezing conditions and to where Miles presently was. I feel this back and forth from the past to the present could have gone very badly and Francis did some exceptional writing to make it both well paced and retain my interest throughout.

About a third of the way into the book the mystery aspect to the story really picked up and I feel most readers should thoroughly enjoy both the different setting to the story as well as the more usual mystery aspects to the plot. I felt this was quite a different outlook both on a more regular Dick Francis/Felix Francis horse-racing based mystery book and I really enjoyed the fresher perspective to the story as a whole.

Readers who enjoy any of the Francis previous books should find they can appreciate this story to an equal degree, and readers who simply enjoy a well plotted and paced mystery should find this story really suits them.

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