Books: Francis, Go Home

Smokescreen

by DICK FRANCIS

215 pages. Harper & Row. $6.95.

Dick Francis, the British ex-jockey, is by now one of the exclusive circle of thriller writers whose annual novels make review columns and bestseller lists.

A Francis book is a reliable product, full of suspense, with racing backgrounds as sound as Buckpasser's bloodlines. His style has one peculiarity a wide streak of rather naive masochism. The likes of Spillane use sadomasochism calculatedly and in trite conjunction with sex. Francis' men (he would never harm a woman) customarily suffer alone, in traps set by a villain far offstage. In addition, permanent personal affliction usually lurks...

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