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Norman Chastain

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After the Game
by Norman Chastain   

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Publisher:  PublishAmerica ISBN-10:  1413780830 Type: 


Copyright:  September 2005

As the playoffs approach, a neat-freak serial killer preys on new found lovers. Is the murderer warming up in Atlanta's bullpen? Did all-star pitcher, Torch Traynor, commit murder? More than once? Charlotte Gordon is convinced he killed her sister, last seen with the ballplayer in a seedy St. Petersburg bar. The police think Charlotte is way off base as her grief boils into a reckless quest for truth. Jeopardizing partnership aspirations, she infiltrates the baseball world, resolute in solving the crime. A gruff Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter helps Charlotte piece together the gruesome trail to a jet-setting killer. As she risks her relationship, career, and sanity, Charlotte is stalked and strays into the line of fire. Has her obsession gone too far? Will Charlotte see her mistake before it's too late?

A tenacious heroine you'll pull for - a villain you'll love to hate—Major League Baseball—SWAT and … Murder in Atlanta! The mystery-thriller is packed with action and suspense!

Barnes &
After the Game


Excerpt from Chapter One of After the Game: 

Quarterflash. Queen. He alphabetized compact disks. His sweaty fingers stuck to the lining of the yellow rubber gloves. Smashing Pumpkins before the Supremes. He restored order—absolute order.

He shuffled the Backstreet Boys and the Beatles with a collection of Beethoven’s best, then shrugged. To rank Margaret Gordon’s diverse music accumulation by achievement invited subjectivity, an imperfect touch he could not accept.

It was after three in the morning. His eyes blurred on the next two plastic cases. He inserted Al Jarreau in the slot behind the Indigo Girls. He nabbed Jethro Tull’s Thick as a Brick
between his index finger and thumb. The inept, the sloppy, thought Jethro Tull played flute, sang lead, and often categorized the artist in the ‘T’ section. Any half-wit knew Ian Anderson played flute for Jethro Tull, the rock band—filed under ‘J.’

Two disks remained. He grinned, satisfied, and jammed Aerosmith and ABBA—the Swedish cornerstone of any alphabetized music compilation—into reserved slots at the front of the flimsy CD rack.

He stood from one knee, smoothed the depression in the shag carpet with the toe of his shoe, and walked through the living room of her small house.The quaint two-bedroom home, a short walk from Bayshore Boulevard, befitted a teacher’s modest earnings. He hesitated at the bedroom door, gazed into the yellow light, and strolled forward.

Margaret’s golden hair fanned out on the shoulder of a cream nightgown and shimmered in forty-watt lighting. She lay atop the print comforter, her delicate fingers interlocked. Asleep forever, a bloody halo blemished the angelic portrait. He had bathed her and brushed the tangles from her hair. Deep red blood clotted in a pool on the pillow.

He stared at Margaret’s peaceful features. His eyes followed her sharp cheekbones. Margaret’s long eyelashes entombed hazel green eyes. Her passionate sparkle dimmed for eternity. Remorseful, he sighed, “I didn’t mean to.” He had wanted to make love with Margaret, not murder her.

His other victims were convenient. A pantyhose run, a lipstick-smeared tooth—grating annoyances pushed him beyond sanity’s vague boundary. Margaret was different. He loved her. Why didn’t she listen? He told her, “Not tonight.” She pleaded with him to drop by after the game. He knew better. He should have remained steadfast, strong. He surrendered to lustful temptation, thinking this time he could banish the demons for Margaret.

Wrong. Demons never back down.



Professional Reviews


Norman 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 sister’s 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 Torch’s 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.

Reviewed by: Moe811

Ginger Hanson, Author, RANSOM'S BRIDE
"Chastain hits a home run with his engaging debut novel, AFTER THE GAME!"

"Norman Chastain demonstrates with AFTER THE GAME that he is a terrific new author. AFTER THE GAME features celebrity, America's favorite pastime, well-developed characters, descriptive locations, suspense, murder and a plot that twists and turns in ways that surprise - what more could you ask for in a novel? An excellent and entertaining read."

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Reader Reviews for "After the Game"

Reviewed by Lyndsey Nelson 7/20/2007
looks really good- I'll have to get a copy and finish it- Thank you. be True- Lyndsey

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