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Brainy trial lawyer and sports agent Madison McCall (Marauders, 1997, etc.) returns, this time to defend a football player accused in the murder of a Hollywood beauty. Best-known for his nonfictional The Dark Side of the Game (1996), former All-American football star Green, an NPR analyst during the NFL season, has yet to gain respectable yardage as a novelist. Here, foulmouthed, sadistic running back Trane Jones has a chrome ball through his tongue, likes to share opium with prostitutes, beat them before having sex, then beat them some more afterward before another go at it. One morning he wakes up next to a stone- dead hooker, apparently an OD; his agent, Conrad Dobbins, has that whore from Chechnya or somewhere buried in cement at a new building site, along with her pimp and his bitch. Meanwhile, born-again Christian athlete Clark Cromwell gets cut from his team because of a neck injury. Madison handles him and gets a respectable reinstatement of salary. Then glamorous actress Annie Cassidy, who has bedded both Trane and Cromwell, is clubbed to death with Trane’s golf club. Although Madison agrees to defend Trane, both ballplayers find themselves wrapped in a haze of guilt. Which of them did it? Or did neither? As ever, Green shines in depicting strategies of the playing field while his stereotypical characters have only enough life to generate a plot of mild entertainment value.

Pub Date: Aug. 24th, 1999
ISBN: 0-446-52333-X
Page count: 336pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1999


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