Twenty-four year old former tennis star Valerie Simpson is mounting a comeback and hires Myron Bolitar as her sports agent. Myron knows he has his work cut out for him because Valerie’s negative image is etched in every American’s mind, not just sports fans as six years earlier her fiancé was murdered. The agent looks forward to the assignment especially since another client is the best young American male prospect, Duane Richwood. Both are entered in the US Open with strong chances of winning.
However, while Duane was playing a match, someone shoots and kills Valerie in the nearby food court. NYPD suspects Duane even with his alibi. Although he knows her death is a DEAL BREAKER Myron is upset to learn Valerie was frantically trying to contact him before she was murdered. Wanting to prove his other tennis client he is innocent and feeling he owes Valerie, Myron along with his pal Win Lockwood investigate. When the police announce the case closed by arresting a stalker, Myron believes the cops just want to shut up the brass, media and the public as a killing at Forest Hills during the US Open is not good for the city’s image. He continues his inquiries although others demand he FADE AWAY from the case if he wants to avoid the BACK SPIN reactions of those who are satisfied that what started six years ago has gone THE FINAL DETAIL.
Myron is at his best with his amusing asides especially about his flaws. It makes for a fine investigative tale that takes him as far south as Philadelphia freedom. The story line is like a Grand Slam final between superstars as he and Win hope to ace the opposition. Although his girlfriend is a stereotypical throwaway used to make the hero seem even more caring, fans will appreciate this five set championship sports thriller.
REVIEWED BY HARRIET KLAUSNER
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