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Michael Balkind

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Member Since: Dec, 2007

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Sudden Death
by Michael Balkind   

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Books by Michael Balkind
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ISBN-10:  1451524439 Type: 


Copyright:  2007 ISBN-13:  9781451524437

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The Deadly Sports Mysteries Website

Sudden Death follows Reid Clark, the PGA tour leader, as he prepares for and plays in two tournaments while he deals with the anguish of death threats.

Reid Clark is a pro golfer at the top of the leader board during the PGA tour; he’s also a hothead with a reputation for trouble. Reid receives a death threat right before teeing off on the final day of the Master’s Tournament, and hires a P.I. to track down the perpetrator. Suspense builds throughout as Reid tries to compete in one of golf’s most prestigious contests…and woo the woman he loves…while dodging death at every turn. For golfers, sports fans and mystery lovers in general, Sudden Death will score big.

Plunk. The unique sound of Reid Clark’s golf ball hitting the bottom of the cup was without question the most satisfying sound he could hear. But in this case he had to settle for the roar of the massive crowd as he sunk his twelve-foot putt, winning his sixth PGA tournament this season. The intense pleasure, undeniably the best high a professional golfer can experience was surging through Reid.
Another win in his pocket, another cool million in his bank account. No longer was money the goal. Now it was the win, only the win. The adrenaline rush was all consuming.
After the trophy presentation, Reid wanted to get back to the hotel. He quickly changed in the locker room doing his best to avoid the press and the crowds. Nothing irritated him more than cameras flashing in his face.
He made it all the way to the parking lot before a paparazzo jumped out from between the cars almost hitting Reid with his lens before snapping his picture.
Enraged, Reid reached out, snatched the camera and launched it over his shoulder. The photographer watched in horror as his camera smashed onto the pavement.
Consumed with fury, Reid pushed the Paparazzo. “Maybe next time you’ll stay a little further away.”
“Who the hell do you think you are?” yelled the photographer as he returned Reid’s shove.
As Reid wound up to hit the guy, his arm was grabbed at the pinnacle of his backswing.
Holding Reid’s arm in his vice like grip, Buck Green, Reid’s agent, hissed, “Down boy. Walk away now!”
It took a moment but Reid took a lung filling breath and slowly let the steam escape through his nose. All the while his eyes fixated on the paparazzo in an evil stare. He turned abruptly and walked away with Buck to their car.
“Man, you certainly know how to ruin a good day, don’t you?” seethed Buck.
“Fuck you. You know sometimes you’re just like my mother, you don’t know when to stop.”
“You bastard! I just saved your ass from another probable law suit and this is the thanks I get?”
“Why can’t the paparazzi just stay out of my way?”
“Because it’s their job and you need to smarten up and get used to it already.” Buck turned to look around. “I only hope no one saw it this time. Let’s get out of here.”

Professional Reviews

James Patterson
"You like golf, you like murder mysteries -- then Sudden Death is your book!"

Clive Cussler
"Pure fun, pure intrigue. The action never stops till a fascinating climax."

Country Club Quarterly magazine
"Michael Balkind intrigues golf enthusiasts far & wide with his first suspense novel.
"Wrought with danger, mystery and a bit of golf, this page-turner will keep you on the edge
of your seat."

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Reader Reviews for "Sudden Death"

Reviewed by Jeannine Reardon 2/1/2009
Michael Balkind's "Sudden Death" is a great read, even if you are not a master of the game. I never would have thought that I would enjoy unraveling the mystery of golf while unraveling a mystery in a book. And believe me, I enjoyed all of it - A very, enjoyable quick read.

Sudden Death will keep you guessing right up until the exciting end!

J.R. Reardon, author of "Confidential Communications"
Reviewed by Todd Fonseca 1/10/2009
Reid Clark is at the top of his game. After fulfilling his lifelong dream of wining the Masters Tournament in Augusta Georgia, he lands a huge multi-million dollar product endorsement deal. But everything is not quite right for Reid. Having led a fairly carefree yet successful life, Reid is prone to temper tantrums which has lead the media to coin him as golf's "Bad Boy", and while Reid supports philanthropic endeavors, not everyone is as happy with Reid as he is with himself. Players on the tour resent his success and frequent arrogance, ex-girlfriends are legion as he is just as much a "player" off the green as on, and ex-caddies and business associates are frustrated with his juvenile outbursts.

Its no surprise Reid receives a death threat. The rules for staying alive - never win another golf tournament. Impossible for Reid. The threats do, however, cause him to take stock of his life and attitudes. He sets out to spend more time with his family, appreciate those around him, and perhaps even find the girl of his dreams. But it's hard to turn around your life on a dime, and Reid finds himself frequently agitated by the press and those hired to protect him.

Will Reid back off and retire from golf while at the top of his game? Or will he risk everything and take on the thugs threatening him?

I enjoyed "Sudden Death". Michael Balkind takes you into the clubhouse, the mind, and the life of a professional golfer - the stress, the deals, the parties, the game, the fans, the agents, you name it.

My one issue is that I found it hard to connect with and like Reid Clark. Though he tries to re-evaluate his life after receiving multiple threats, connecting with family and his budding relationship are all centered around buying them high priced gifts and taking them on shopping sprees. There's no real emotional connection. This is certainly consistent with his persona, but does make it difficult to really route for him as the novel's main character.

None-the-less, "Sudden Death" is a very enjoyable read. If you like golf and a good mystery, "Sudden Death" is for you!

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