DROPSHOT by Jack Bickham


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Spies and jocks chase each other around the tennis courts on a Caribbean resort island as the Soviets try to get their hands on a highly desirable computer chip. Tennis pro and spook Brad Smith first appeared in Bickham's Tiebreaker (p. 586). The athletes here are just enough to break a nice sweat without exhausting couch-bound readers. Middle-aged Smith is still mourning the violent death of his wife and doubles partner Danisa, so he just says no when his CIA contact asks him to look into some funny business at a vacation tennis camp on St. Maarten. Then Smith's old pal and fellow tennis pro Pat Reilly takes the job and dies in an unlikely scuba diving accident--but not before sending Smith a worried letter and a title to a safe-deposit box. That's enough to send him down to the island on his own. After checking into a seedy bungalow, Smith hangs around odious, financially overextended, ex-colleague Al Hesser's tennis camp--where he has to fight off Hesser's menacing bodyguards, as well as Hesser's luscious, predatory, second wife, while trying to check out the cryptic clues from the safe-deposit box. Also dropping in on the sports resort are a larcenous computer-programmer from Colorado and a KGB mastermind from Notre Dame University. Their minds are on a game other than tennis. When he is not getting roughed up by bodyguards or Mrs. Hesser, Smith finds solace in the arms of lovely lawyer Beth Miles, who plays a thoroughly respectable game herself. Bracing but not strenuous.

Pub Date: Feb. 20th, 1989
Publisher: Tor--dist. by St. Martin's