Feinstein’s latest tale of chicanery in big-time sports sends teen journalist Stevie Thomas to London to cover the Olympics, where his usual partner Susan Carol is swimming for gold.
A win at the Worlds has turned Susan Carol into a national celebrity and brought a whirl of lucrative marketing deals her way. It has also put her at odds with her father, who has fallen thoroughly under the influence of pushy agent J.P. Scott. Stevie covers the progress of his beautiful, brilliant, talented girlfriend for a Washington paper as she makes her way through the Olympics Trials and then the early heats in London. He begins to smell a rat when he spots an associate of J.P.’s meeting with a hot-looking Russian swimmer who is competing against her. A slimy marketer’s careless comment later, Stevie knows the fix is in. As is his wont, Feinstein salts the cast with real athletes and other figures from Michael Phelps to Bob Costas. He folds plenty of dramatic sports action as well as behind-the-scenes banter and personal and family conflict into a plot that moves smoothly to a suspenseful climax. Though the evidence fingering a bribed Olympics judge is rather conveniently obtained, both the crime and the marketing pressures behind it are thoroughly believable.
A fast-paced caper, with plenty to offer fans of both the Games and the less savory “games.” (Mystery. 10-14)