Perry Stuart, TV meteorologist, chiefly predicts periods of English drizzle, with bursts of heavier rain and sunshine to follow. His life calm and ordered, his face familiar to every British household, Stuart's profound weather knowledge and accuracy have given him high status among forecasters, but no physical baptism by storm.
Not, that is, until a fellow forecaster offers him a Caribbean hurricane-chasing ride in a small aeroplane as a holiday diversion. By frightening accident, Stuart learns more secrets from the flight than wind speeds - and back home in England he faces threats and danger as deadly as anything that nature can evolve.
`Second Wind' is a twisting spiralling hurricane of a thriller that will defy anyone to treat the weather as an everyday topic of conversation.
Dick Francis was one of the most successful post-war National Hunt jockeys. The winner of over 350 races, he was champion jockey in 1953/1954 and rode for HM Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, most famously on Devon Loch in the 1956 Grand National. On his retirement from the saddle, he published his autobiography, The Sport of Queens, before going on to write forty-three bestselling novels, a volume of short stories (Field of 13), and the biography of Lester Piggott.
During his lifetime Dick Francis received many awards, amongst them the prestigious Crime Writers' Association's Cartier Diamond Dagger for his outstanding contribution to the genre, and three 'best novel' Edgar Allan Poe awards from The Mystery Writers of America. In 1996 he was named by them as Grand Master for a lifetime's achievement. In 1998 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List of 2000.
Dick Francis died in February 2010, at the age of eighty-nine, but he remains one of the greatest thriller writers of all time.