In Ride a Cockhorse, whose title appears less arbitrary the further one goes into the book, Mrs Fitzgibbons actually attempts to rape a man, and the scene is both horrific and comic – as one may indeed compare it with the sex scene with the drum major. For a while I thought that this book, obviously good though it is, had a major problem, in that it suggested that there is something nightmarish, or Against Nature, about a femme d’un certain age on the make, both sexually and professionally. But I think that if Kennedy is going to populate his novels with women who don’t act like they oughter, then this means he finds the phenomenon not only almost obsessively fascinating but imaginatively rich. He’s not being misogynistic.
—from a Nicholas Lezard review of Ride a Cockhorse in The Guardian. Lezard is picking up on theme that others have brought up, whether this book, with its sexual predator protagonist and her middle aged transformation into small town Sarah Palinesque banking tyrant, is or isn’t misogynistic. We tend to agree with Lezard that it isn’t (surprised?), but whatever your opinion Frankie Fitzgibbons is a character that will stay with you well after finishing this hilarious and still pertinent book.