Johnny Adcock, a relief pitcher moonlighting as a private investigator—or is it the other way around now that he's nearing retirement as a big leaguer?—investigates a Cuban slugger who may or may not be who he says he is.
A left-handed specialist for the fictional San José Bay Dogs, Johnny is spending time with Connie, his librarian "girl in Denver," during a road trip. There, he becomes involved in the case of Yonel Ruiz, a prodigious rookie outfielder who's being blackmailed by the Venezuelan cartel that smuggled him out of Cuba on a powerboat. They're said to be holding his family until he gives them all his baseball money. Is Ruiz's beautiful, mysterious sister, Enriqueta, who's with him in Colorado, involved in the scheme? (Is she, in fact, the assassin known as La Loba?) After being offered an open invitation to come to her hotel room, Johnny has to take her up on it, at 4:30 a.m., after sleeping with Connie, right? It's all part of the job. And when vivacious marketing expert Tiff Tate, who customizes players' images for big money, needs to have sex with him to relax herself before discussing important things about the case, he has to comply if it helps his sleuthing, right? With all this coupling going on, it's no wonder the suspicious death of Rockies hitting coach Erik Magnusson, a former teammate of Johnny's, quickly fades into the background. But as oversexed and plot-imperfect as the book is, it's a fun read. Monday is at ease in moving among crime, baseball, and romance. The book gains authenticity from its references to real-life figures and situations. And the first-person narrator makes for good company.
Monday's second effort, following The Setup Man (2014), is an enjoyable, easygoing sequel that shows off the author's skill at seamlessly mixing genres.