Picks and Pans Review: Twice Shy

updated 04/26/1982 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/26/1982 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Dick Francis

This time out of the starting gate, the British jockey turned writer has produced a thriller like a Hitchcock film: There's little or no mystery but a lot of suspense. The first half is told by a young physics teacher who is an expert marksman and victimized by a crazed thug. The second half takes place several years later and is told by the teacher's younger brother, a jockey grown too big to ride. Francis does a fine job describing life at a boys' school, and there is plenty of absorbing information about how a system for betting on horses could be computerized. But the best stuff is about the horses themselves and the wonderful characters in this world. Twice Shy is unconventional, but it works beautifully. (Putnam, $13.95)

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