Multiple murders at the Masters golf tournament, in sportswriter Shefchik’s fiction debut.
Now that he’s won the amateur US Publinx tournament, retired Minnesota police detective Sam Skarda excitedly prepares to compete in the Masters. Meanwhile, angry Lee Doggett is released from the Georgia State Penitentiary with a clear purpose: to exact revenge on his father and on the men who he thinks helped put him away. Decades ago, Doggett’s mother, Laverne, a maid, was coerced into sex by wealthy Ralph Stanwick, who’s never owned up to paternity. As media director at Augusta National, Stanwick could easily have planted drugs in Doggett’s golf bag. Eight years of incarceration have done nothing but harden Doggett, who quickly makes his way to the course and murders Stanwick—or so he thinks. The next morning, TV reports revealing the victim was actually Harmon Ashby, another club official, send Doggett into a rage. As he hatches further plans, the tournament tees off, with all its excitement and controversy. The latter comes in the form of feminist demonstrations, sympathetically covered by New York Times columnist Deborah Scanlon, who becomes one of several victims of Doggett’s scorched-earth vengeance. Tournament director David Porter hires Sam to find the killer at the risk of spoiling his lifelong dream.
The straight-ahead crime plot works best as a MacGuffin for a fact-packed roman à clef about a singular American institution.