Dick Francis' Bolt
revisits jump jockey Christmas "Kit" Fielding, first encountered in Break-In
, as he matched wits with high-powered and sometimes murderous businessmen to save the horse training stables of his twin sister Holly and her husband Bobby Allardeck.
, Kit is still riding for trainer Wykeham Harlow and his primary owner, the Princess Casilia de Brescou, and is engaged to Danielle de Brescou, niece of the Princess and her husband Roland. A startling and confrontational visit from Henri Nanterre, the co-owner of one of Roland de Brescou's manufacturing concerns, once again draws Kit into a test of wills - will Nanterre's demands succeed in wearing down de Brescou's resistance to expanding the business to make non-metal firearms that could easily be used in acts of terrorism? Will Nanterre's subsequent threats and violence against the de Brescous' family, friends, and beloved race horses be enough to overcome the aging and ill patriarch's opposition? Not if Kit has anything to say about it.
And lest we forget - Maynard Allardeck, Holly's father-in-law, is still just as infuriated with Kit as he was at the end of Break-In
, and Kit can never afford to be casual about what Maynard would like to do to him, even when his attention is focused on the de Brescou family's problems.
As ever with Francis's heroes - among them Alexander Kinloch, Lee Morris, John Kendall, Tor Kelsey, Ian Pembroke, and of course, the most cussedly stubborn of them all, Sid Halley - Kit's main strength is his refusal to cave in to bullying. Faced with an unjust situation, Francis' men dig in their heels and pull in the opposite direction, despite potential (and often actual) harm to themselves. Only when those they love are in danger do they weaken - and even then, only temporarily, until they can figure out a way around the threat. Somehow I imagine that Francis' favorite dog must have been a terrier - determined, stubborn, and never one to back down.