Free choice? There's no such thing, according to Lee Morris. Choice is pre-ordained by your personality. Stratton Park racecourse faces ruin in the hands of a squabbling family. Lee is slowly sucked into the turmoil, unwillingly on the surface but half-understanding the deep compulsions that influence his decisions. One road leads to safety, ...
Free choice? There's no such thing, according to Lee Morris. Choice is pre-ordained by your personality. Stratton Park racecourse faces ruin in the hands of a squabbling family. Lee is slowly sucked into the turmoil, unwillingly on the surface but half-understanding the deep compulsions that influence his decisions. One road leads to safety, another to death. How do you know which is which? Lee's choices and their consequences bring deadly results, but the road out of the quicksand is there, if he can find it. Horses and racing are familiar ingredients, but this time there are also children, houses, roots and decisions. Danger? Naturally. Stratton Park racecourse is worth multi-millions, and all of the Stratton family are playing to win.
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Publishers Weekly, 1993-08-02 Dick Francis knows horses, but in this deeply satisfying novel of intrigue, he shows that he also has a handle on architecture, construction, even crowd control. Narrator Lee Morris, 35, is an architect/builder specializing in restoring ``ruins'' like his own splendid barn house inhabited by his six sons and his lovely, but increasingly remote, wife. He is also one of few shareholders in Stratton Park racecourse, ownership of which is being hotly contested by the heirs of Lord Stratton. Lee's mother had married and quickly divorced the baron's vicious son Keith. Since part of her divorce settlement included the racecourse stock, Lee (accompanied by his five eldest sons) attends a shareholders meeting. With few exceptions the Strattons are a very nasty crew--cheats, blackmailers, just plain vicious--and during the course of the fight over selling or restoring the track, Lee is beaten, nearly blown up and finally forced to race to save his sons at the excruciating climax. Francis's deft plotting and sharp characterization are, as usual, on the mark: both Lee and his progeny are realistic and appealing. And as usual, he excels in exposing some of England's nastier class habits, meanwhile affirming the morality of his protagonist. BOMC main selection; QPB alternate; Reader's Digest selection; author tour. (Oct.)
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