ICED is the chilling new thriller from the internationally bestselling author Felix Francis, packed full of wintry suspense and intrigue. Inspired by a trip to the legendary festival of horse racing on a frozen lake in St Moritz, White Turf, and watching riders race down the infamous Cresta Run, ICED is Felix’s 15th ‘Dick Francis’ novel.
“After visiting St Moritz in 2019 I was inspired to set a new book there. White Turf is a unique and spectacular horseracing event, I describe it in the book as “a strange cocktail of two parts frozen Glorious Goodwood mixed with one part haute couture, a large slice of cordon bleu, with just a dash of Yorkshire point-to-point for taste.”’ – Felix Francis
Together, the Felix Francis and Dick Francis novels have sold over 80 million copies worldwide in 40 languages. Felix continues to honour his father’s thriller-writing legacy and the centenary of his birth with plans to unveil a commemorative statue, sculpted by William Newton, at Aintree racecourse next Spring.
ICED just published September 16th with Simon & Schuster and it is a great pleasure to bring you all an extract as part of the blog tour celebrating its release. so I do hope you enjoy.
[ About ICED ]
Miles Pussett is a former steeplechase jockey. Now he gets his adrenaline rush from riding down the Cresta Run, a three-quarter-mile Swiss ice chute, head first, reaching speeds of up to eighty miles per hour.
Finding himself in St Moritz during the same weekend as White Turf, when high-class horseracing takes place on the frozen lake, he gets talked into helping out with the horses. It is against his better judgement. Seven years before, Miles left horseracing behind and swore he would never return.
When he discovers something suspicious is going on in the races, something that may have a profound impact on his future life, Miles begins a search for answers. But someone is adamant to stop him – and they’ll go to any lengths to do it…
[ Extract – ICED ]
Shuttlecock doesn’t claim me, not this time.
My toboggan fishtails but I am still aboard and streaking through Stream Corner and on to the Bledisloe Straight. Now just the road bridge and the railway bridge to flash under, three slight bends and the Cresta Leap to negotiate, and then on down to the finish.
But nothing is easy- peasy at eighty miles per hour with no proper brakes and no seatbelt.
Eighty miles per hour.
That was the speed my father had been driving at when the car in front had hit the barrier.
Suddenly, I am back there on the M5, watching the brick lorry coming inexorably towards me with its headlights blazing, the expression of terror on the driver’s face still etched deep into
I shake my head.
Not now! Not now!
I am all too aware what is happening to me. This is the regular prelude to a debilitating panic attack when some inner voice in my head tells me that I’m not worthy to be alive when my
father is dead.
‘No,’ I shout, ‘this will not happen. This will not happen now!’ I begin to gasp for air, as if I am being smothered, and I can feel the palpitations starting in my chest. My palms become sweaty and I am in danger of losing my grip on the toboggan handles. I shake my head from side to side, trying to will the wicked demon back into its box.
‘Not now,’ I repeat, forcing myself to concentrate on the ice ahead.
I am merely a passenger as I zip under the bridges and on towards the finish.
And then, all of a sudden, I am over the line and running into the yellow foam mats that stop me careering down into the main square of Celerina, the village at the bottom of the run – and the
route to the hospital where, indeed, many a failed Cresta ride has finished before now.
But I am not one of those needing emergency surgery, not today.
I lie on the mat, exhausted, still fighting for my breath.
‘Hello, hello,’ announces Tower loudly through the Tannoy speaker above my head. ‘Miles Pussett, down in five- two point two- four seconds. That puts him in third place.’
Somehow, the announcement brings me back from the brink and the palpitations subside. My breathing begins again and life returns to normal.
But did Tower say Hello, hello?
That call is reserved only for a rider’s personal- best time.
Fifty- two point two- four seconds is my personal- best time – and third in the Grand National, no less. But that was only the first run of three.
I jump up and collect my toboggan ready for the ride back up to the top to do it all again.
I laugh once more.
Bring it on.
[ Bio ]
Felix Francis studied Physics and Electronics at London University and then spent seventeen years teaching Advanced-Level Physics. The younger son of crime writer and National Hunt jockey Dick Francis, Felix assisted his father with both the research and writing of his novels in a father-and-son writing partnership. Continuing his father’s legacy, Felix has written fifteen successful novels.
The Felix Francis & Dick Francis novels combined have sold over 80 million copies worldwide in 40 languages.
Twitter – @felix__francis