FOURTH DOWN AND OUT by Andrew Welsh-Huggins


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A former Ohio State football star tries to make his way in the world as a private investigator.

Andy Hayes used to be on top of the world, playing for a Buckeyes team that seemed destined for the playoffs. Now he’s living in German Village, a modest neighborhood in south Columbus, trying to eke out a living tailing unfaithful spouses. Ted Hamilton’s job is about midpoint on Andy’s sleazometer. High schooler Pete Freeley, who has a video of Hamilton necking with underage Jennifer Rawlings, threatens to go public if he doesn’t pay up. Andy punches back with a threat of his own: Give up the video or face extortion charges. When Pete turns over the laptop with the video—which a surprising number of people had access to—all hell breaks loose. Pete’s father, Doug, wants it back because it contains sensitive business files. OSU adjunct instructor Anne Cooper wants it because it holds her private stock of plagiarized English papers. But no one’s gonna get it, because a thug named Danny Reilly clocks Andy with a shotgun and steals it. Then Danny’s body turns up in the local quarry. Between Andy’s search for Danny’s killer, his hunt for the laptop and his repeated confrontations with all the people who want what’s on its hard drive, the story of his betrayal of his football team dribbles out, and you can finally understand why people all over Columbus hate his guts.

Another fallen angel seeking salvation through detective work. Legal reporter Welsh-Huggins’ debut won’t bump Sam Spade off any Best Detective lists, but it’s still perfectly respectable.

Pub Date: April 15th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-8040-1152-5
Page count: 266pp
Publisher: Swallow Press/Ohio Univ.
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2014


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