What would happen if a father was a person with a “well-developed criminal characteristic”(206), and was “not a normal character in the first place”(206)? What if his son was special to him “in a psychological way”(206)? Perhaps the son would be well protected by the father. In one book, it starts with a kidnapping. Neil Griffon is abducted by two men, then finds out that unless he agrees with his kidnappers’ unreasonable demands, his father’s stable and precious horses will be destroyed. Neil realizes that he has no choice except to cooperate. So the stable gets a new member, the criminal Enso Rivera’s eighteen years old son, Alessandro Rivera… Bonecrack, written by Dick Francis, will give you the answer to these questions. It shows us the pathetic transformation of Enso, who changes from a tyrant to a stubborn man, finally becomes a madman.
It is sad to see his change, for his personal reason, and eventually it affects to his brain. At first, the book reveals that Enso is a complete monarch. He is the “manipulator”(16) of the kidnapping. When Neil refuses Enso’s command, he says, “They are, that you employ a certain jockey, and that you do not seek aid from anyone, including the police should you break either of these agreements the stable will be destroyed. But…”(15) He emphasizes, “… If you do not agree to these conditions in the first place, you will not be freed”(15). Through his words, we can feel his aggressive and arrogant personality. The purpose of the kidnapping is to force Neil to employ his son Alessandro to be the jockey. To get rid of the morass, Neil decides to save the stable. He reluctantly agrees with Enso. During the days Neil spends with his son, more information about Enso is revealed. The secret side of Enso comes out. From the death of Indigo, there is an interesting but ridiculous point, “Enso would give Alessandro anything he wanted”(123), but “he couldn’t talk to his father”(123)! It seems so incredible. Then from a friend of Margaret’s daughter Susie, Enso’s criminal background comes out. Behind him, there is “a supposedly legitimate business as a dealer in the watches”(140). He can never be tried in a court.
Besides this, it says that “he only has one child”(140), and he “is reputed to have deserted his wife”(140). Afterward, through the conversation between Neil and Alessandro, it shows that Enso has a horrible physical illness – he is “sterile”(205). This information provides a breakthrough. These revelations not only help us to know more about Enso, but also become the powerful evidence to explain his pathetic transformation. When Enso receives the letter from Neil, he comes to the New Market. At this point, his obstinacy occurs. He focuses on that Alessandro should ride Archangel in the Two Thousand Guineas. He threatens Neil, but Neil still disobeys him. Neil lets another jockey Tommy Hoylake ride Archangel. Enso gets angry and plans to kill Tommy. But Neil doesn’t know it. On the morning of the Guineas, because Tommy doesn’t feel well, Neil decides to let Alessandro riding Lucky Lindsay.
When Enso discovers that his son is riding Lucky Lindsay, he is screaming. Meanwhile, his conspirators are seeking Lucky Lindsay, since on the news, it says that Tommy is supposed to ride Lucky Lindsay! When confronted with this unpredictable turn of events, Enso is flustered and effete. He shocks to this fait accompli. At Neil’s insistence, he realizes he needs to find his partners and stop their plan. He starts the engine and goes to find them. “He said… I had kill you… Killed his son. He was… out of his senses. He said… I should have know it was you”(257); “He shot Carlo… and he shot me… so I let him have it… he was out… of his senses…”(257) These words are said by Cal when Neil and Alessandro find Enso’s body in the street. This is the end of Enso. His pathetic transformation is fulfilled at this moment. Insanity then death are his final response to the change.
In brief, Enso finishes his change, from being a “manipulator”(16) to a person who is “out of the senses”(257), even the death. Because of Enso’s personal experience and illness, his love for Alessandro is twisted and sick. It is love for his son is genuine, but the expression is sick and wrong. In the end, the unanticipated situation is out of his control. Unfortunately, this kind of father does exist in the society. How do people deal with such manipulation? Nobody wants to see such a sad ending to a human being. Although it is hard to change an adult, it is still possible to protect healthy children. Just as Neil decides to help Alessandro achieve his jockey dream, despite the fact that Enso does so many bad things to him. It is the responsibility of healthy adults to protect innocent children from sick and manipulative adults.