on April 9, 2013 :
"Dead Ball" by Michael Balkind is the second in his series about golf player Reid Clark. This time round the murder happens right at the start and the victim is Bob Thomas, Reid Clark's best friend and Chief Financial Officer of The Inner City Sports Foundation and AllSport.
During the investigation we find that the victim's life is not all what it was meant to be and the number of suspects is so big that several threads need to be followed up: The wife, his former mistress, business partners, accountants and a van that has been spotted near the crime scene. Reid assists in the investigations, which leave you guessing to the very last minute.
This is a great whodunnit mystery, unpredictable, entertaining and fast paced. After the first instalment where we were waiting for the murder to happen throughout the book, this is an excellent counter-part / sequel and shows the author's versatility and skill. The setting at AllSport makes for a colourful setting and if you have read the first book already you will appreciate Reid Clark becoming a more positive figure, if you haven't you will still be able to appreciate the book on its own for the suspense and the great writing. A solid performance by Balkind.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)
on Dec. 30, 2010 :
Big Sport, Big Money, Big Suspense - Michael Balkind hit another one right down the middle!
Reid Clark, Balkind's protagonist from Sudden Death, is back in this murder mystery that keeps you hanging like Tiger's putt on the 16th at Augusta. This time, he's haunted by the discovery of his best friend's dead body at his athletic training center, AllSport, a death that starts Clark and his loyal friends on a search through the dark alleys and smokey back rooms of high-level sports, finance, and other criminal enterprises.
Investigator Jay Scott takes the lead in his novel. His deep knowledge of the detective's craft and multi-volume Rolodex of shady characters on both sides of the law make him a worthy foe to the slickest perpetrators. Red herrings abound and the dramatic tension builds as Scott and his team pursue lead after lead with Balkind displaying his own deep knowledge of a variety of sports and martial arts. Gangsters, bankers, and various other evildoers play some surprising roles in this character feast. So do dead bodies, which seem to multiply like steroid investigations in baseball.
If you're a sports fanatic, a mystery buff, or just a looking for a page-turner for the evening, you'll like Dead Ball.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Rai Aren & Tavius E.
on Dec. 14, 2010 :
Dead Ball, if you're in the game - watch your back!
Where else can you find murder, mystery, elite sports, guns, greed, special ops, mafia, and glamour? Dead Ball has it all! The story takes place on the rarefied grounds of AllSport - state-of-the-art facilities that house & train top athletes in numerous sports to compete at the highest levels. It's no surprise then, that combining the world's most highly skilled and competitive athletes, with the best training facility in the world, and all of the rivers of money that follow and flow, makes for a combustible mix. Cutthroat tactics abound throughout the book, the players are many, and the high-stakes world of amateur & professional sports makes for a thrilling read. A brazen murder is committed and the list of suspects with plenty of motive and opportunity is long. Then the body count grows. The sports world is one where all kinds of people come to play, not just the athletes, and rules of the game are sometimes subject to dangerous interpretation. Is murder just another form of competition? Is it no more than a price to be paid as a means to an end? Or is it revenge? Dead Ball is full-throttle action from the very first page!
Rai Aren, co-author of Secret of the Sands
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on Sep. 24, 2010 :
This review was written by Ms. BG Pupps of Inknbeans Press.
My fourth and final review for the month is Michael Balkind's second book, Dead Ball.
If you read Sudden Death, then you know most of the characters. Even the bad guys from Sudden Death make a cameo appearance. Reid Clark, the main character in Sudden Death takes a step back so the light can shine on his organization, Allsport, and his unstoppable security team, led by Jay Scott. This time it's his best friend and CFO of Allsport, Bob Thomas, who is the target, and he isn't as lucky as Reid was.
The story starts with The President of the United States and a dead body and ends with a firefight in an airport. Along the way, money, gunrunning, gangs, wiseguys and revenge muddy the trail Jay and his men must follow to find the trigger finger and the person who paid for it.
Michael Balkind loves sports, the descriptions of the various games are almost romantic in their detail. He loves food and cars as well. If you would enjoy a testosterone laden dash through sports, cigars, fast cars, beautiful women, rich food, richer men and murder, this is the book you should read.
(reviewed 19 days after purchase)