May 5, 2012

Book review: Game 7: Deadball

As a baseball fan, I'm pretty much a sucker for anything to do with my favorite sport. But at the same time, I'm also very critical.

Game 7: Deadball by Allen Schatz is a mystery thriller with the 2008 World Series as a backdrop. For the record, I was at that World Series, so it was interesting to see how certain things would be incorporated into an event I attended.

The first thing I noticed was how well the book was written. As an indie author, Schatz's writing is very polished. It was a refreshing start because it meant there would be no cringing throughout the book from poor grammar or something else that a good editor could have helped.

It allowed me to just enjoy the book, which I did.

Marshall Connors, a Major League Baseball umpire, is at the center of the book. Connors has to cut his vacation short as he's asked to become crew chief for the 2008 World Series. Not a bad gig, but mysterious and dangerous messages start popping up around Connors until he realizes he's in the middle of a large revenge scheme.

There are a number of characters to track in the book – and at times it felt as though there were too many. During certain passages when there was a mention of a lesser character, I had to go back and remind myself of whom Schatz was writing about.

The difference with Connors and the rest was Schatz's characters was the use of perspective. Connors' passages were written in first person while the others were written in third person. It took some getting used, but I found it interesting.

When I asked Schatz about it he said it was a way for him to incorporate a bit of himself into the character. He wanted the focus to be on Connors although I found myself intrigued by another character, CIA agent Thomas (Suggestion: maybe a book on Thomas' adventure and how he became the person he is).

The book was quick with short sections and chapters only hitting on important moments for each character. There were no long poetic passes. Just action.

It was an enjoyable read and Schatz did a good job of building suspense.

There are two more books currently in the series and I intend to check them out as well.

Rating: 4 - Well written and good action. A bit too many characters for me to keep up with, but the ones that mattered came to life well. 

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