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Richard Stanley Francis was a British crime writer. Straight was first published January 1st 1989. Derek Franklin is a steeplechase jockey nearing the end of his career. He broke his left ankle in a fall from a horse during a steeplechase at Cheltenham a few days before and talked his doctor into putting him in a soft cast so his muscles would not atrophy. After returning from the doctors, he received a telephone call in which he was told that his brother Greville was in intensive care at St. Catherine's Hospital at Ipswich close to 2 hours away. Not being able to drive himself, he gets his neighbour Brad to drive him. His brother has been in a horrible accident in which scaffolding fell on him as he was walking down the sidewalk. Hours after Derek's arrival his brother passes away leaving Derek all his possessions: his house, his horses and his business. The hero inherits all of his brother Greville’s problems along with his business. Greville was a gemstone dealer, and so this time the expert information includes lots of tidbits about jewels and their composition and value. Derek is another good character, strong and likeable and principled; his regrets over not having known his brother better add a bittersweet tenderness to the story as it unfolds. It’s still a thriller, but it’s also a good novel about people and their complicated mixed motives. You can listen online to free English audiobook “Straight” by Dick Francis on our website.

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