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Welcome to our comprehensive audiobook review of “Under Orders” by Dick Francis. If you’re a fan of horse racing or mystery novels, then this thrilling audiobook is a must-listen. In this review, we’ll provide a detailed analysis of the audiobook, covering key elements such as the plot, characters, writing style, narration, and critical reception.

Join us as we explore the world of horse racing through the eyes of a master storyteller and uncover the suspenseful mysteries that await in “Under Orders.”

So, sit back, relax, and get ready for an audiobook review like no other. Let’s delve into the fascinating world created by Dick Francis in “Under Orders.”

About the Author, Dick Francis

Dick Francis was a prolific English author, best known for his thrilling novels centered around horse racing. Born in 1920 in Wales, Francis had a deep-rooted love for horses and racing since his early years. He initially pursued a career as a professional jockey, riding for the Queen Mother amongst other notable figures in the sport.

After serving in World War II, Francis turned his attention to writing, publishing his first novel, Dead Cert, in 1962. This debut novel marked the beginning of a prolific career spanning four decades and dozens of novels, cementing Francis’s status as a master of the horse racing genre.

Francis’s novels often explored themes of honor, corruption, and morality within the world of horse racing, drawing on his own experiences and extensive research. The author’s writing style was praised for its tight pacing, vivid descriptions, and expertly crafted suspenseful moments.

Despite his passing in 2010, Dick Francis’s legacy continues to influence and inspire readers and writers alike. His contributions to the literary world and the racing community remain unparalleled, making him an endearing figure in both realms.

Overview of “Under Orders”

Transport yourself to the thrilling world of horse racing with “Under Orders,” a gripping audiobook by renowned author Dick Francis. Set in England, the story follows jockey and amateur investigator Sid Halley as he embarks on a dangerous mission to uncover the truth behind a series of suspicious deaths plaguing the racing world.

The audiobook captures the excitement and tension of the racetrack, with Francis’ expertise in the subject matter evident through his engaging writing and attention to detail. Throughout the story, listeners will encounter a cast of memorable characters, each with their own secrets and motivations, keeping the mystery alive until the very end.

The audiobook is expertly narrated, with the narrator bringing the characters and events to life through their engaging delivery. From the fast-paced races to the thrilling plot twists and turns, “Under Orders” is a must-listen for fans of both horse racing and mystery genres.

Narrator Performance

One of the standout features of “Under Orders” is the exceptional performance by the narrator. Their delivery and pacing are pitch-perfect and succeed in bringing the characters and events to life, enhancing the overall listening experience. The narrator’s ability to convey the suspense and drama of the horse racing world is particularly noteworthy, elevating the story to new heights of excitement.

Listeners will be impressed by the narrator’s skill in portraying the different characters in “Under Orders.” Each voice is distinct and memorable, with nuanced shades and inflections that bring the protagonists and antagonists to life. The narrator’s exquisite attention to detail deepens the listener’s emotional connection with the characters.

Overall, the narrator’s performance in “Under Orders” is a testament to their exceptional talent and contributes significantly to the audiobook’s success. Their expert delivery and dynamic range make for an unforgettable listening experience.

Plot and Storyline

With an intricate and suspenseful plot, “Under Orders” by Dick Francis keeps listeners on the edge of their seats throughout the audiobook. The storyline revolves around the horse racing industry and the complex web of corruption and deceit that threaten both the sport and the lives of those involved. Francis expertly weaves together multiple storylines, incorporating unexpected twists and turns that keep listeners guessing until the very end.

The major theme of the book is honor and Francis explores how one’s sense of duty and morality can clash with personal desires. The audiobook is filled with moments of high drama and tension that create a visceral listening experience, making it a standout in the world of mystery novels.

Listeners will be captivated by the sophisticated storytelling and suspenseful events throughout. “Under Orders” is a stellar addition to Dick Francis’s body of work, and a must-listen for any fan of the genre.

Character Development

Dick Francis masterfully crafts memorable and multi-dimensional characters in “Under Orders.” Through his meticulous attention to detail and depth, listeners form strong connections with the protagonists and antagonists, enhancing the overall listening experience.

One example of Francis’s adept character development can be seen in the protagonist, jockey Sid Halley. Halley is a flawed yet relatable character, with a complex past and a desire to do what’s right. Throughout the audiobook, listeners witness his growth and development, as he navigates through various challenges and personal demons.

Furthermore, the supporting cast of characters in “Under Orders” are equally well-crafted, each exhibiting unique personalities and motivations that drive the plot forward. From corrupt trainers to determined investigators, each play an integral role in the story’s development and contribute to the intricate web of relationships and conflicts that intertwine throughout the audiobook.

Dick Francis’s attention to character development contributes to the audiobook’s overall success and elevates it beyond a simple mystery or detective novel. “Under Orders” is not just about the investigation of a crime, but the exploration of the human psyche and the motivations that drive us all.

Setting and Atmosphere

Horse racing

Step into the electrifying world of horse racing through the vibrant setting and richly descriptive atmosphere in “Under Orders.” Dick Francis’s unparalleled understanding of the sport and his attention to detail paint a vivid picture of the racetrack, immersing listeners in the thrilling environment. From the pounding of the hooves to the roar of the crowds, every sensory element of the sport is expertly captured, transporting listeners to the heart of the action.

The setting of “Under Orders” is a key element in the audiobook’s success, with Francis’s immersive descriptions of the racetrack atmosphere ensuring listeners can almost taste the excitement. Whether you’re a seasoned horse racing enthusiast or new to the sport, the vivid setting and electric atmosphere will leave you feeling as though you’re in the stands, cheering on your favorite jockey.

Themes and Messages

“Under Orders” is more than an audiobook about horse racing; it is a thought-provoking exploration of complex themes and messages. Dick Francis weaves his story around issues such as honor, corruption, and the pursuit of justice, examining their impact on individuals and society.

The audiobook’s central message revolves around the idea that the world of horse racing, while exciting and glamorous, can also be fraught with danger and intrigue. The consequences of greed and dishonesty can be devastating, affecting not only those involved in the sport but also innocent bystanders.

Francis’s storytelling style allows listeners to engage with the underlying themes and messages effortlessly. His ability to blur the lines between right and wrong creates relatable characters that listeners can identify with. The result is a captivating and often emotional experience that leaves a lasting impression.

Writing Style

In “Under Orders,” Dick Francis showcases his exceptional writing style. His language is concise yet evocative, painting a vivid picture of the racing world with precision and clarity. Francis also employs dialogue effectively, creating engaging conversations that reveal insights into the characters’ motivations and personalities.

His descriptive techniques are immersive and sensory, transporting listeners to the racetrack and allowing them to experience the sights, sounds, and smells of the horse racing world. Through his writing, Francis expertly captures the excitement, tension, and drama of the sport, keeping listeners on the edge of their seats.

Furthermore, Francis’ writing style is character-driven, allowing listeners to form strong connections with the protagonists and antagonists throughout the audiobook. His careful attention to detail and story pacing builds suspense, creating an enthralling listening experience that is both entertaining and informative.

Pacing and Suspense

One of the standout features of “Under Orders” is its expertly crafted pacing and suspenseful moments. The audiobook’s pacing is consistently engaging, with the story building steadily towards its dramatic conclusion.

Dick Francis’s masterful use of suspense keeps listeners on the edge of their seats, expertly balancing moments of tension with quieter scenes of character development and plot exposition. Through carefully crafted descriptions and well-timed revelations, the audiobook maintains a gripping momentum from start to finish.

The combination of skillful narration and dynamic writing ensures that “Under Orders” is a thoroughly engrossing listen, with listeners eager to uncover the truth alongside the characters as the plot races towards its thrilling conclusion.

Accuracy and Research

Dick Francis was well-known for his meticulous research and attention to detail when writing his horse racing novels, and “Under Orders” is no exception. The accuracy of the author’s portrayal of the world of horse racing is a testament to his deep knowledge and experience in the sport.

Throughout the audiobook, Francis draws on his own experiences as a former jockey to create a realistic and authentic depiction of life on the racetrack. He incorporates accurate terminology, events, and customs, immersing listeners in the fascinating world of horse racing.

The author’s commitment to research is also evident in his exploration of the darker aspects of the sport. “Under Orders” touches on topics such as race-fixing, corruption, and doping, all of which the author thoroughly researched to ensure credibility and accuracy.

In addition, the audiobook includes a number of references to real-life horse racing events, adding an extra layer of authenticity. From the Cheltenham Festival to the Grand National, the events mentioned in “Under Orders” are all based on genuine races.

Data on accuracy in “Under Orders”

Accuracy Aspect Quality Level Rating
Terminology High
Events and Customs High
Exploration of Darker Aspects High
References to Real-Life Events High

The table above summarises the accuracy levels of different aspects of “Under Orders” in terms of the quality level rating. Dick Francis’s thorough research and authenticity provide a highly accurate portrayal of the world of horse racing.

Comparison to Other Dick Francis Audiobooks

Dick Francis fans are no strangers to his captivating writing style and thrilling storytelling. As such, it’s natural to compare “Under Orders” to his other acclaimed audiobooks. Here is a breakdown of some key similarities and differences.

Similarities Differences
Writing Style Dick Francis’s writing style is just as captivating and enthralling in “Under Orders” as it is in his other horse-racing mystery novels. The pacing and tone may vary depending on the specific book and focus of the story.
Themes Like many of his works, “Under Orders” explores themes of corruption, honor, and justice, all through the lens of the horse racing world. The specific themes and messages may differ slightly depending on the book and plot.
Storytelling Approach Dick Francis is known for his talent in expertly weaving together intricate plots, unexpected twists, and compelling characters, and “Under Orders” is no exception. The focus of the story and the specific characters involved naturally shape the storytelling approach in each book.

While each of Dick Francis’s audiobooks is unique, “Under Orders” certainly holds its own as a standout within the author’s repertoire. With its captivating story, expertly crafted characters, and immersive setting, this audiobook is a must-listen for any fans of the genre.

Critical Reception

critical reception

Discover what readers and audiobook enthusiasts have to say about “Under Orders” by Dick Francis. The audiobook received generally positive critical reception, with reviewers commending its suspenseful plot, well-crafted characters, and engrossing setting. According to AudioFile Magazine, “Under Orders” is a “must-listen for mystery lovers and horse-racing fans alike.”

On Goodreads, the audiobook has an average rating of 4.05 stars out of 5, based on over 4,000 ratings and 174 reviews. A large majority of reviewers praised the expert narration, vivid descriptions, and fast-paced storyline. Many also lauded Francis’s ability to incorporate his deep knowledge of horse racing seamlessly into the audiobook.

A few reviewers, however, felt that the plot was too predictable and formulaic, lacking in originality compared to other works by the author. Some also expressed disappointment in the resolution of certain subplots and character arcs.

Overall, “Under Orders” garners mostly positive reviews and is a solid choice for those seeking an exciting audiobook experience.

Impact and Legacy

With over 40 novels to his name, Dick Francis has left a significant mark on the literary world, and “Under Orders” is another standout addition to his legacy. The audiobook has had a lasting impact on listeners, impressing them with its expert insights into the world of horse racing and thrilling storyline.

“Under Orders” has contributed significantly to Dick Francis’s overall literary influence, earning acclaim for its accurate portrayal of the racing world and well-crafted characters. The audiobook highlights the best elements of Francis’s writing, including his exceptional dialogue and descriptive language.

The enduring popularity of Francis’s horse racing novels can be attributed in large part to the impact of works like “Under Orders.” Fans of the author’s other novels will appreciate the consistency of his storytelling, while newcomers will be eager to explore further after experiencing the thrill of this audiobook. Dick Francis’s impact on the genre is undeniable, and “Under Orders” serves as a shining example of his prowess as a writer.

Recommendations and Conclusion

After carefully evaluating and analyzing “Under Orders” by Dick Francis, we highly recommend this audiobook to fans of horse racing and mystery genres. The audiobook boasts a gripping plot, well-crafted characters, vivid setting and expert narration, making it a truly enthralling experience from start to finish. Furthermore, readers who enjoyed other works by Dick Francis will certainly appreciate this addition to his repertoire.

Overall, “Under Orders” is a testament to Dick Francis’s literary talent, and his ability to weave captivating stories that keep listeners engaged and enthralled. This audiobook is a must-have for those who enjoy thrilling narrations and adrenaline-packed plotlines.

Table of Recommendations

Listener Profile Why You’ll Love “Under Orders”
Horse Racing Enthusiasts The audiobook captures the excitement and drama of the racing world, offering expert insights into the sport.
Mystery Lovers The gripping plot and unexpected twists will keep you hooked until the very end, making it a must-listen for mystery fans.
Dick Francis Fans “Under Orders” is a standout addition to the author’s repertoire, offering a compelling plot and well-crafted characters that showcase his literary talent.


After examining “Under Orders” by Dick Francis, it’s clear that this audiobook is a must-listen for fans of the horse racing and mystery genres. The expert narration, immersive setting, and well-crafted characters make for an enthralling experience that keeps listeners hooked from start to finish.

Dick Francis’s writing style shines through in his intricate plot, use of language, and descriptive techniques. He explores themes such as honor, corruption, and justice, providing thought-provoking insights for listeners. Along with the suspenseful pacing and authentic portrayal of the world of horse racing, “Under Orders” is a standout within the author’s repertoire.

Whether you’re an avid fan of Dick Francis or new to his works, “Under Orders” is a worthy addition to your audiobook collection. It’s an expertly crafted audiobook that captures the essence of horse racing, delivering a thrilling and engaging listening experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression. So, what are you waiting for? Add “Under Orders” to your audiobook list today!

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