not one of his best Sep 30, 2007
One certainly doesn’t need to be an equine lover to enjoy Dick Francis’ novels. His characters are diverse and interesting and the plot twists are practically scary. Each story has a sort of theme. One was about abstract painting. Another focused on a survivalist/travel writer. A great one, Proof, involved liquor stores. Under Orders is mainly about online gambling sites and the inherent pitfalls. There is still the same first-person narration in that smooth voice he manages to write down very well. There’s much more of a risqué aspect than his other books. Normally, this is done rather tastefully, but here it’s as if he’s attempting to cater to pulp fiction standards. There’s nothing cool about that. The twists and turns are still there and it is a good story. Sadly, this just doesn’t measure up to his others novels. Field of Thirteen was a decent book, but showed signs of a downturn. Under Orders is evidence that while Francis has had a great run, he’s past the goal post and needs to get off the track or find a different race.