Publication Order of Sid Halley Books
Publication Order of Standalone Novels
|Dead Heat||(2007)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Silks||(2008)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Even Money||(2009)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Crossfire||(2010)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Gamble||(2011)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Bloodline||(2012)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Damage||(2014)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Front Runner||(2015)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Triple Crown||(2016)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
Felix Francis is a British novelist who carved his niche as a crime writer. He is also the son of renowned author Dick Francis, who was also a steeplechase jockey. In 1953, Dick Francis and wife Mary Margaret bore a child, Felix Francis. He enrolled at London University and pursued a degree in Physics and Electronics. Later, he taught Advanced Level Physics and also chaired the science department at Bloxham School in Oxfordshire. He worked as a vice chairman and director of the World Challenge Expeditions Ltd from 1993 to the year 2005. He is the former governor of Winchester House and Malvern College. Francis has a seventeen-year teaching experience; he quit the teaching profession in a bid to focus on managing his father’s activities.
According to Francis, the composition of his father’s novel has always been a blend of teamwork, inspiration and perspiration. On frequent public occasions, he credits his father as his role model and inspiration saying that he intended to make him proud. The first Dick Francis novel received publication when Felix Francis was only nine years old. He grew up in a house where breakfast talk would be about the kind of happenings his father would narrate in his books. Progressively, he gained an interest in his father’s works and hoped that he too would follow the same path.
The Francis Partnership
Felix Francis spent forty years of his life aiding his father with both the writing and research of his many novels. Dick Francis harboured a perpetual love for racing and often worked on character and plots details at his home in the Cayman Islands. Throughout all the plot and character development, he involved his son since he deemed his opinion and counsel important. The father-son partnership enabled Dick Francis to draw upon his son’s experience and knowledge as a physics teacher. The solid partnership enabled the two to publish the novels Shattered (2000) and Under Orders (2006). In the year 2007, Felix Francis took on a more significant role in writing with the publication of Dead Heat. He then maintained his role in Silks (2008) and Even Money (2010). However, the end of the blossoming partnership came in 2010 when Dick Francis passed on. During that period, they were working on the popular novel, Crossfire. His father’s death signified the conclusion of one chapter and the advent of another in the Dick Francis brand.
Debut as a Solo Writer
Felix Francis grieved the loss of his father, mentioning that he had lost his greatest mentor. Dick Francis wanted his legacy to prosper through his son, and that is what Felix Francis vowed to do. He then wrote Gamble (2011) his first novel as a solo writer and labelled it as “a Dick Francis novel”, to pay homage to his father. The novel generated mixed public reactions. Some critics, most notably Kirks, said that the novel fully deserved the family name. Others such as Euro-crime criticized Felix as having little knowledge and experience on horse racing. The critics cited a wave of flatness in the narration even though it was a well-handled thriller.
With the success of Gamble, a majority of the critics concluded that indeed Felix Francis can write on his own, without his late father. Most critics acknowledged that he would be successful with steady progress. The Dick Francis brand was still very much alive; the crime mystery- reading world was still thirsty for more books. Critics argued that if Felix Francis played his cards right, he could inherit his late father’s fans. The novel Gamble was Felix Francis’ first attempt on his own to keep the Francis franchise going. Fortunately, the book had all the loyal Dick Francis readers had anticipated. In the book, Felix Francis incorporated suspense within an intelligent story, mystery and danger in spare and fast -moving prose that grasped reader’s attention.
The plot in Gamble is complex, full of mystery, multiple suspects and red herrings, to the much delight of loyal readers. The novel incorporates a satisfying subplot that is romantic and involving the protagonist, Nicholas “Foxy” Foxton, who was a former steeplechase jockey forced into an early exit due to injury. Reluctantly, Nicholas moved into a less exhilarating life of a financial advisor. Misjudgements and spills throughout the story lead to progressive occurrences that draw catharsis from the readers. A colleague, Herb Novak, gets shot and dies right in front of Nicholas. Another shocker grasps the readers after the plot reveals that Mr Novak, whom Nicholas hardly knew, names his as the sole beneficiary to his estate. It does not take long for Nicholas to establish that Novak’s involvement in shady gambling activities. What’s worse, Novak’s estate owes far more than what it’s worth and soon, Nicholas life hangs in danger.
Felix Francis includes plenty of twists and turns in the climax unraveling. In his per-literary life, Felix Francis was a high school physics teacher rather than a championship jockey. He however ensured that the world of racing that entertains most of his late father’s readers will continue to play a role on Francis stories. Also, from the plot, characterization, pace and setting, readers, critics and publishers alike can conclude that Felix Francis continues to establish himself at the very top levels of genre fiction.
Felix Francis has a total of four novels written as a solo writer with his latest being Damage (2014). By this time, he had earned the ranks of best seller. Therefore, the stakes and expectations were high. The novel features Jeff Hinkley as the main character. He was an undercover investigator for the British Horse-racing Authority investigating the shady activities of a racehorse trainer. Unfortunately, as he is tailing his suspect through the racing festival, he witnesses a gruesome murder. Later, the plot opens up and reveals to the readers that many horses test positive for prohibited stimulants, a scandal that could taint the horse racing initiative. It is critical that Jeff finds the perpetrator in order to limit the damage to the sport. The novel received excellent review from media outlets such as Sunday Times, Daily Mail and Country Life.
So far, none of Felix Francis’ novels has television adaptations. However, a number of his father’s books had television adaptations. Among the adopted books included Twice Shy, starring Ian McShane alongside protagonist, David Cleveland. Felix Francis assisted his father in the research when he was writing Twice Shy before he began writing himself.
Currently, Felix lives in Oxford-shire where he continues with preserving his father’s legacy through his novels. Most media outlets refer to him as multi-time New York Times bestselling author. He continues to tour Europe, launching his latest novel Damage. In the United Kingdom, the book launched on 11th September 2014 while, on 7th October 2014, it launched in the United States.Book Series In Order » Authors » Felix Francis