My second Dick Francis of the year! [She said, hoping no-one had noticed her month long absence when she had resolved to post fortnightly.]
I read this straight after The Woman in White so you will have to excuse me if this is less than detailed.
Nerve was Dick Francis’ second novel about horse racing and crime. It’s very different from the first, which you can read about on my blog, here. This time, a jinx seems to falling on the jockeys. Nerve kicks off with one of them killing himself (gun to the head) in the middle of the show ring. Rob (our hero) blames the immense pressure on him and the fact he was going to lose his job. But even worse is to come. A leg break leads Rob to get some better rides than usual. Meanwhile, another of his friends is sacked for being late in freak circumstances, and another jockey suffers a mental breakdown.
For Rob, everything is going well, until his horses start to lose. All the time. Everyone says he’s lost his nerve. He investigates, and finds an interesting culprit. The ending is interestingly played out. My only problem with the story is that Rob is hopelessly in love with his cousin. I’m not sure why Francis chose this subplot but I found it rather weird.
Overall though, a very gripping, read in one sitting, type of book. I give Nerve 7/10.
Reading has taken a backseat to work of late, so I’ll return when I have read something else!