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I expect hyperbole from blurb writers, but often the writing is so bad that I wonder whether they’re actually referring to the book I hold in my hands. For example, this is from the back cover of Smokescreen:

"Man’s man, ladies’ man, and superman on screen, Edward Link is a simple family man at home until a beloved friend, dying in South Africa, calls him to her bedside for one last favor. It will mean playing all his most dangerous movie roles in real life. And it means investigating the hair-raising dress-rehearsal for what may be his own demise!"

Pocket Books, 1978 edition.

In the blurb above, taken from a Pocket Books edition of Smokescreen, there are two plain errors of fact: The character’s name is Edward Lincoln (Link is his nickname), and the friend was dying not in South Africa, but in England. The rest, if not strictly accurate, I am prepared to ascribe to hyperbolic licence.

There used to be a page with summaries of all Dick Francis’s novels at http://www.mindspring.com/~mmessall/francis/summaries.htm. These were also taken from book jackets of U.S editions (like the blurb above), and they contained many mistakes.

Edward Lincoln

Edward Lincoln, 33, married to Charlie (Charlotte), has three children, Pete, Chris and Libby.

An English film idol, Link (as he is familiarly known) travels to South Africa to investigate why a dying friend’s horses are not running as well as they should.

"You never miss a damn thing, do you? Dad says you have an intuitive mind, whatever the hell that is."

"It means I jump to conclusions," I said.

She shook her head dubiously. "Uh-uh. He seemed to think it was good."