AFTER THE GAME
NORMAN C CHASTAIN
Rating: Four and One Half Beacons out of Five
Margaret Gordon is in love and eager to introduce Prince Charming to her parents and sister. The night before this was to happen; he brutally murdered her and cleaned her apartment. Unfortunately, she never told her family his name. Her sister, feeling guilty about neglecting her family for her demanding career as an accountant, is determined to find the killer. All signs point to the volatile Atlanta Braves pitcher, Torch Traynor. He is obsessively neat in addition to having a violent temper and he was seen with Margaret on the night of her murder. With the help of a reporter friend, Charlotte Gordon poses as a journalist to find out more about Torch. She is surprised to find that she likes him and wishes that the evidence did not point so strongly towards him. But Charlotte will find the killer; at the expense of her career, and maybe her life.
This is a taut and exciting thriller from beginning to end. The author is very adept at painting a picture of the live sports writers and professional athlete, and then combining them with one of the best mysteries that I have read this year. I could never figure out the murderer until it was revealed to me in the end. Every time I thought I had it, the author added another twist in the plot. I was frustrated but hooked throughout the tale. I loved Charlotte and empathized with her need to avenge her sisterís death. Torch is surprisingly likable for such a volatile man. Sportswriter Pierce Pope and crime writer Cox are multilayered, well developed characters as are those of the photographer Liz and Torchís former little league coach and boyhood friend. This is one story that will keep the reader on the edge of her seat from beginning until end.