Diane Atkins has had a crush on Buddy Talbert since she was fourteen and watched him set a national record when he won the 100-meter backstroke at the Indianapolis Nationals. So why doesn't she recognise him just a few months after finally meeting in person at one of her swim meets? ... More
Diane Atkins has had a crush on Buddy Talbert since she was fourteen and watched him set a national record when he won the 100-meter backstroke at the Indianapolis Nationals. So why doesn't she recognise him just a few months after finally meeting in person at one of her swim meets? Buddy had been quite attracted to the graceful nineteen year old, and her enthusiasm for the upcoming Regionals where she is to swim gives him the perfect excuse to seek her out again. So imagine his surprise when Diane misses her own event! Diane's best friend Sue informs Buddy that Diane had gone missing for a few weeks and when she came back she was cold to her friends and family, and acted like she didn't even know her own coach! Buddy' concern increases when he runs into Diane on the street and she doesn't know who he is! Not only that, the beautiful grace that he so admired when he watched her move at the University has been replaced by an odd physical awkwardness. The mystery deepens as they find Diane is not the only one acting strangely. Diane's new housemate Jerome Whitely, also disappeared for a few weeks only to return and not know his friends and suddenly started acting cold to his previously close family. Buddy and Sue discover both swimmers had recently stayed at "The Retreat" in Palm Desert right before their sudden personality change. It is time to investigate, although Buddy is now becoming increasingly interested in Sue, swimmers stick together and they want to know what happened to their friends, and who knows, it might just be the break he needs at his newspaper where he is a VERY lowly reporter. They are right, "The Retreat" and what happens inside its heavily guarded compound is the biggest break any reporter could hope for, but will Buddy live long enough to get out and let the world know? A competitive masters swimmer, Mr. Addleman makes full use his swimming background in this novel. "Skin Game" is a mystery/thriller, but never it also wanders too far from the water.