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Dead Ball

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 Blissberg returns to baseball to protect a player who’s on the verge of making historyFifteen years after retiring from baseball, Harvey Blissberg is suffering a bad case of what his girlfriend, Mickey Slavin, calls “sad man-ism” when the owner of his former team, the Providence Jewels, tracks him down. The team’s star, Moss Cooley, is on the verge of shattering Joe DiMaggio’s “unbreakable” fifty-six-game hitting streak. But Cooley has been receiving racist threats, such as a decapitated lawn jockey with a note reading, “escape retribution.” Would Blissberg mind playing bodyguard for a while? When Cooley’s streak ends shy of DiMaggio’s record, the threats and hate mail continue, suggesting that there’s more at stake than preserving a white man’s supreme achievement. Blissberg follows the trail of clues back into the past, and finds that Moss is not the first Cooley man to be persecuted. A determined psychopath is out for Cooley’s neck, and if he has to murder a few ex-ballplayers on the way—so be it.“Compelling characters, ingenious plotting, vivid writing, and some pretty great baseball, too—the complete Rosen package.” —Daniel Okrent, author of Nine Innings “The language crackles quick and sharp, full of hard-boiled one-liners, and there is some oddly beautiful writing about the game of baseball. The ugly and graphic history of lynching is a strong plot point, and the final denouement is both shocking and bloody.” —Booklist “Like a crafty pitcher keeping batters off balance, [Rosen] delivers unexpected plot twists that keep the reader guessing.” —Publishers Weekly                                   R. D. Rosen’s writing career spans mystery novels, narrative nonfiction, humor books, and television. Strike Three You’re Dead, the first in Rosen’s series featuring major league baseball player Harvey Blissberg, won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel from the Mystery Writers of America in 1985. Blissberg’s adventures continued in four sequels, includingFadeaway (1986) and Saturday Night Dead (1988), which drew on Rosen’s stint as a writer for Saturday Night Live. Rosen’s three nonfiction books include Psychobabble (1979), inspired by the term he coined, and A Buffalo in the House: The True Story of a Man, an Animal, and the American West (2007). Over the past decade, he co-created and co-wrote a bestselling series of humor books: Bad CatBad DogBad Baby, and Bad President.

From Publishers Weekly

Oct 01, 2001 – Few baseball records are as sacrosanct as Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak. Suppose a black player were to challenge that mark. Given the hate mail sent to Hank Aaron as he surpassed Babe Ruth's home-run record, Rosen's (Strike Three, You're Dead) grim premise in this dark tale rings all too true: there's no field of dreams here. While the author knows his way around the ballpark, his story's disturbing force comes from its unflinching review of racism in America. As Moss Cooley, an African-American star of the fictitious Providence Jewels, mounts a hitting streak that stretches toward 50 consecutive games, the racist backlash intensifies. When he receives a cast-iron "lawn jockey," its head severed and a threatening note attached, team officials act quickly. They summon Harvey, a former Jewel, now a private eye, to safeguard Moss no easy feat: Moss's stalker seems to know their every move. Like a crafty pitcher keeping batters off balance, the author delivers unexpected plot twists that keep the reader guessing. His skillfully modulated dialogue encompasses locker room patois, broadcast banter and, when Harvey's investigation leads to Georgia, Southern drawls. While a few of Rosen's similes may miss the strike zone, far more hit the catcher's mitt with a resounding zing (when "the ball disappeared into his glove... it was as if the entire crowd had been shot dead"). Even fans in the bleachers, though, will notice the overreliance on coincidences, and the author's brand name dropping has as much appeal as a spitball.
Dead Ball
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  • $7.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Mysteries & Thrillers
  • Published: Mar 05, 2013
  • Publisher: Road
  • Seller: OpenRoad Integrated Media, LLC
  • Print Length: 243 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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