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Francis’s fifth novel features amateur jockey, semi-professional pilot, and in-flight horse-transport supervisor, Henry Grey. The heir to an earldom, Grey is a cold fish until he meets Francesca at Milan’s Malpensa airport.

Grey uncovers two illegal operations, is nearly killed, and fulfils the book’s title when he is left piloting a 4-engine airliner, having never flown larger than a 2-engine plane before.

There is less racing in this book than in any of Francis’s previous novels, and much less than either of those where the hero is a jockey.

The book ranks around the middle of the Dick Francis collection, its biggest flaw being the threads left hanging at the end.