Goodreads ratings
4.05 / 5

"Bolt" Summary

By Dick Francis

mystery | 288 pages | Published in NaN

ISBN_13: 9780425202883

Estimated read time: 6 min read

One Sentence Summary

A former jockey turned private investigator must uncover the truth behind a series of mysterious horse deaths and a suspicious fire at a racing yard.


"Bolt" is a thrilling mystery novel written by Dick Francis, a renowned British author known for his gripping tales set in the world of horse racing. In this fast-paced story, Francis combines his extensive knowledge of the racing industry with suspenseful twists and turns to keep readers on the edge of their seats. With its engaging plot, interesting characters, and expertly crafted narrative, "Bolt" is a must-read for fans of the mystery genre and horse racing enthusiasts alike.

Brief Synopsis

Set in the vibrant and competitive world of horse racing, "Bolt" follows the story of Kit Fielding, a talented jockey who must overcome numerous obstacles to uncover the truth behind a series of mysterious accidents. When his close friend and fellow jockey is brutally attacked, Kit becomes determined to find out who is responsible and put an end to the danger lurking within the racing community.

As Kit delves deeper into the investigation, he discovers a web of deceit, corruption, and betrayal that threatens not only his career but also the lives of those he holds dear. With the clock ticking and the stakes higher than ever, Kit must rely on his wit, courage, and racing skills to outsmart the culprits and bring them to justice.

Main Characters

Character NameDescription
Kit FieldingThe protagonist of the story, Kit is a talented jockey with a reputation for being fearless and determined. He possesses a deep love for horses and a strong sense of justice, which drives him to uncover the truth behind the mysterious accidents.
Laura BlakeA successful racehorse trainer and Kit's love interest, Laura provides valuable support to him throughout the investigation. Her expertise in the racing industry proves instrumental in unraveling the truth.
Henry TomlinsonKit's loyal and knowledgeable valet, Henry is a confidant and trusted friend. He assists Kit in his quest for answers, offering his insights and expertise.
Jake LovellA rival jockey with a checkered past, Jake plays a significant role in the story. Kit suspects Jake's involvement in the accidents, which adds an additional layer of tension to their relationship.
Harry TenbyA respected trainer and mentor figure to Kit, Harry Tenby's guidance and wisdom prove invaluable in his pursuit of justice.

Summary of Story Points

Chapter 1-5: The Accident

In the opening chapters, Kit witnesses a horrific accident during a race, leaving his friend and fellow jockey, Bobby Allardeck, injured. As the racing community struggles to understand the cause of the accident, Kit is determined to find answers. With the help of Laura and Henry, Kit begins his investigation.

Chapter 6-10: Uncovering Clues

Kit discovers suspicious activities at the stables and uncovers a possible link between the accidents and illegal gambling. He becomes convinced that someone is intentionally causing harm to jockeys to manipulate race outcomes. Kit's suspicions fall on Jake Lovell, a rival jockey with a troubled past.

Chapter 11-15: Racing Against Time

As Kit gets closer to the truth, he becomes the target of threats and violence. He finds himself in a dangerous game of cat and mouse as he races against time to gather evidence and expose the culprits. With the help of Harry Tenby, Kit uncovers a web of corruption that extends far beyond the racing world.

Chapter 16-20: The Final Showdown

During a high-stakes race, Kit confronts Jake Lovell and confronts him about his involvement in the accidents. A gripping climax ensues as Kit fights to save not only his own life but also the integrity of the sport he loves. The truth is revealed, and justice is served in a thrilling and unexpected turn of events.

Main Events

  1. Bobby Allardeck's accident during a race leaves Kit determined to find the cause.
  2. Kit uncovers suspicious activities at the stables, suggesting a link to illegal gambling.
  3. Kit suspects Jake Lovell's involvement in the accidents and confronts him.
  4. Kit becomes the target of threats and violence as he gets closer to the truth.
  5. The final race becomes a high-stakes showdown, with Kit fighting for justice and his own life.

Themes and Insights

Corruption and Betrayal in the Racing World

"Bolt" explores the theme of corruption and betrayal within the horse racing industry. Dick Francis sheds light on the darker side of the sport, where greed and manipulation can override the well-being of both horses and jockeys. Through Kit's investigation, readers gain insight into the lengths people will go to gain an unfair advantage and the consequences of their actions.

Courage and Determination

The novel also emphasizes the importance of courage and determination in the face of adversity. Kit Fielding's unwavering commitment to uncover the truth showcases his bravery and resilience. Despite the risks and obstacles he encounters, Kit remains steadfast in his pursuit of justice, making him an inspiring and relatable protagonist.

Reader's Takeaway

"Bolt" is an exhilarating mystery novel that combines the thrill of horse racing with a captivating storyline. Dick Francis's masterful storytelling keeps readers engaged from beginning to end, with unexpected twists and well-drawn characters. This book offers a glimpse into the world of horse racing while exploring themes of corruption, courage, and determination. Whether you are a fan of mysteries or simply enjoy a well-crafted tale, "Bolt" is sure to satisfy your reading appetite.


In "Bolt," Dick Francis once again proves his prowess as a master of the mystery genre. With its gripping plot, memorable characters, and expertly woven narrative, this novel is a must-read for horse racing enthusiasts and fans of suspenseful storytelling. Through Kit Fielding's quest for justice, readers are taken on a thrilling ride that explores the dark underbelly of the racing world and the indomitable spirit of those who seek the truth. "Bolt" is a captivating novel that will leave readers eager for more of Francis's enthralling tales.

Bolt FAQ

  1. What is the genre of the book 'Bolt'?

    The book 'Bolt' by Dick Francis is a mystery and thriller novel.

  2. What is the main plot of 'Bolt'?

    The main plot of 'Bolt' revolves around a jockey named Kit Fielding who becomes involved in a dangerous investigation after his close friend is brutally murdered.

  3. Is 'Bolt' a standalone novel or part of a series?

    'Bolt' is part of the Sid Halley series by Dick Francis, featuring the recurring protagonist Kit Fielding.

  4. What is the setting of the book 'Bolt'?

    The book is primarily set in the world of horse racing in England.

  5. Is prior knowledge of horse racing necessary to enjoy 'Bolt'?

    While some familiarity with horse racing may enhance the reading experience, it is not necessary to enjoy the suspenseful plot and intriguing characters in 'Bolt'.

  6. Are there any notable themes explored in 'Bolt'?

    Yes, 'Bolt' explores themes of loyalty, betrayal, corruption, and the pursuit of justice.

  7. Is 'Bolt' suitable for younger readers?

    Due to the mature themes and content, 'Bolt' is recommended for adult readers.

  8. Is 'Bolt' a fast-paced thriller?

    Yes, 'Bolt' is known for its fast-paced and suspenseful narrative that keeps readers engaged from start to finish.

  9. Has 'Bolt' received any awards or recognition?

    Yes, 'Bolt' was nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel in 1987.

  10. Where can I purchase a copy of 'Bolt'?

    You can purchase a copy of 'Bolt' online through various book retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or directly from the publisher.