Sid Halley the main character in Odds Against and Whip Hand is back in the third and final installment of Dick Francis' Sid Halley series. About a year has passed since Whip Hand. Sid Halley is on his own again because Chico has gotten married. Now Sid is faced with a perplexing mystery, several 2-year-old colts and a young girl's pony have been found with a front foot severed at the ankle while they were still alive. These crimes have happened on moonlit nights right before major races. A familiar blue Land Rover shows up at one of the crime scenes which leads Sid to believe the perpetrator is Ellis Quint, a well known television sport's show host.
Sid has known Ellis for many years and at first cannot believe he could possibly be guilty of such cruelty. Nevertheless, the evidence leads Sid back to Ellis each time he thinks otherwise. Knowing Ellis is most likely guilty Sid helps put him on trial for the crimes. But, of course Ellis' adoring public cannot believe he is capable of such crimes and accuse Sid of being envious of Ellis' fame. Accusations against Sid escalate when The Pump (a gossip paper) joins in on the bashing, with some influence from Ellis, Verney Telepit (the paper's proprietor), and Owen Yorkshire (the animal feed tycoon). Ellis' mom commits suicide knowing that her son is guilty and Ellis' father goes after Sid to keep Ellis from being prosecuted and to avenge his wife's death. Sid has his work cut out for him, he must save his reputation, prove Ellis' guilt, and live to tell about it.
This report prepared by Amanda Campbell