A mighty roar of enthusiasm is heard on both sides of the Atlantic with the publication of each new novel from Dick Francis. Critics hailed last year's To the Hilt as ?wonderful, complex, and surprisingly moving? (Los Angeles Times); ?an exciting story told with great narrative drive and a hero who suffers for the sake of his honor? (The New York Times Book Review). Now, with the publication of his thirty-sixth equine thriller, fans have additional reason to cheer for Dick Francis.At eighteen, easygoing Benedict Juliard has no stronger ambition than to ride in steeplechase races as an amateur jockey. His father, driven toward a life of public service and politics, asks his only son to enter into a pact that neither of them will commit any act that could destroy the father's growing reputation and burgeoning political career. Ben agrees lightheartedly, unaware of what lies ahead.Twelve years later, Ben has abandoned his dream of life on the race course, and enters the political arena as his father's staunchest ally and most trusted confidant. Ben finds himself targeted in a vicious attack mounted by his father's increasingly violent enemies: through the son, the father is to be discredited and destroyed. As George Juliard makes his drive toward the prime ministership, Ben is plunged into a frightening morass of lies and treachery.In practice, a 10 lb. penalty is the maximum weight a winning thoroughbred is normally set to carry in a horse race.A 10 lb. penalty can be a killer.