- Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
- Available in: Hardback and paperback
Warned Off was first published in 1993 by Hodder & Stoughton in hardback and paperback. Since the rights reverted to Joe and Richard, the book has had several rewrites (authors are never happy with their books).
Warned Off introduces the main character in the series, Eddie Malloy. The story opens with Eddie, at 27, pretty much down and out and living in an old caravan owned by a rogue horse dealer. Nursing a hangover and a full bladder one morning near Christmas, Eddie vaults a fence into a frozen and deserted golf course in Newmarket. From behind the bushes he spots a man’s leg on the ground and finds that it belongs to the corpse of Danny Gordon, an employee of the Horserace Forensic Laboratory.
Eddie does his duty and reports his grim discovery to the police, before returning to the life he has grown used to after being warned off the turf five years previously. Eddie had been Champion Jockey aged 21, got too cocky and was conned and ended up wrongly accused of being involved in a doping ring. He lost his riding licence and the privilege of being on any licensed premises: he could not even work cleaning up droppings in a racing yard.
Eddie’s bitter desolation steers him toward booze and by the time he gets a visit from Peter McCarthy, a Jockey Club Security Investigator, he’s angry and ready for a fight. But McCarthy offers him one chance to resurrect his career by helping find the killers of Danny Gordon. Eddie realises that McCarthy has an ulterior motive, but he is willing to do anything to get his riding licence back…and that’s when the adventure starts.
Warned Off was well received by fans of Dick Francis and that’s reflected in hundreds of good reviews in the UK and America, albeit a couple of reviewers seem much offended by the positive Francis comparisons made by others!
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