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Second Wind    by Dick Francis order for
Second Wind
by Dick Francis
Order:  USA  Can
Jove, 2000 (1999)
Hardcover, Softcover, Paperback, Audio

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*   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Francis' usual formula has a new area of expertise, a mystery and a love interest that usually come together in a well crafted tale. This time his hero, Perry Stuart is a meteorologist and a TV weather celebrity. The love interest is very light and only sketched in briefly when he brings a speedy romance with his grandmother's nurse to conclusion. The mystery is all too easily solved.

The grandmother herself is one of the more interesting characters in the story, with her occasional heebie-jeebies - predictions of doom that always materialize. She has raised Perry since he was orphaned (after one of her warnings was not heeded), and bears her current afflictions with grace and dignity.

Perry has an eccentric friend Chris, who seems to be there more for reasons of plot than any true friendship. Chris's connections take them both to a long desired opportunity to fly into the eye of a hurricane. They detour to tiny and obscure Trox Island on an errand that Chris has undertaken, Perry's suspicions are awakened and the plot unfolds.

Though the story has some interest, Second Wind is a very weak dilution of the usual Francis work. The plot seems artificial, the storyline jerky and the romance not very engaging. Even the heavies are less menacing than usual and rather easily overcome. Read it for the information on weather forecasting and the descriptions of a hurricane, the story is disappointing.

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