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  • Classic Francis

    Henry Grey is the son of an earl who frustrates his family by taking a job caring for horses being flown between countries. Yet this quiet, extremely competent young man quickly discovers that things are not all on the up-and-up in his new career and the discovery almost costs him his life. Francis works hard to develop Grey’s character in this novel and it proves very important to the over all story. In addition to being quiet and efficient, Grey’s both obsessively private and extremely stubborn. The one explains why he has pilot skills that almost no one knows about, and the other explains why he won’t just lay down and die when saner individuals would have given up. Unlike some of Francis’ novels, this one is very much a product of the time he wrote it (published in 1966). There’s a subplot involving smuggling birth control pills into catholic Italy and there’s tremendous tension between Grey and one of the other characters who greatly resents his prestigious bloodline. Overall, this isn’t one of Francis’ most memorable works, but it’s a fun read none-the-less.

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