The hero of this explosive tale is David Cleveland, investigator for the Jockey Club, who goes to Norway in response to an appeal from Oslo racecourse. A British jockey, riding there, has disappeared, and with him has gone a day's takings from the turnstiles. The Norwegian police have found no trace of him, and the case is being filed as just one more unsolved theft. David Cleveland is a last resort. He goes without much expectation - and finds himself in waters as dark and deep as the fjords.
Dick Francis was one of the most successful post-war National Hunt jockeys. The winner of over 350 races, he was champion jockey in 1953/1954 and rode for HM Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, most famously on Devon Loch in the 1956 Grand National. On his retirement from the saddle, he published his autobiography, The Sport of Queens, before going on to write forty-three bestselling novels, a volume of short stories (Field of 13), and the biography of Lester Piggott.During his lifetime Dick Francis received many awards, amongst them the prestigious Crime Writers' Association's Cartier Diamond Dagger for his outstanding contribution to the genre, and three 'best novel' Edgar Allan Poe awards from The Mystery Writers of America. In 1996 he was named by them as Grand Master for a lifetime's achievement. In 1998 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List of 2000.Dick Francis died in February 2010, at the age of eighty-nine, but he remains one of the greatest thriller writers of all time.