Crossfire, by Dick Francis and Felix Francis (Penguin Books, 2011)
The British army is Capt. Thomas Forsyth’s life. When he loses a foot to a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, he reluctantly returns to live with his mother and step-father, with whom he’s never gotten along.
Thomas’ mother Josephine is an established trainer of race horses and a woman of strong opinions. He’s surprised to discover she’s also being blackmailed and is in danger of losing her business.
Perhaps because his injury is making him re-think his life, Thomas discovers he actually cares about Josephine and her husband Derek. Plus, there’s the principle of the thing: why should the blackmailer get away with his/her scheme?
Crossfire delivers everything readers have come to expect from a Dick Francis novel, in classic style. The soldier’s perspective adds something new. Despite some heavy-duty profanity in the beginning (after all, the man had his foot blown off) the language wasn’t too bad throughout. There was a small amount of sexual content.
Dick Francis died in 2010, and his son Felix is carrying on the tradition with typical Francis style. Crossfire is one of four novels the two co-wrote, and Felix Francis has written Gamble as his first “solo Dick Francis novel.” You can read a sample of Crossfire on the authors’ website.