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Beschreibung des Verlags
Blissberg returns to baseball to protect a player who's on the verge of making history.
Fifteen years after retiring from baseball, Harvey Blissberg is suffering a bad case of what his girlfriend, Mickey Slavin, calls "sad man-ism" when the owner of his former team, the Providence Jewels, tracks him down. The team's star, Moss Cooley, is on the verge of shattering Joe DiMaggio's "unbreakable" fifty-six-game hitting streak. But Cooley has been receiving racist threats, such as a decapitated lawn jockey with a note reading, "escape retribution.╦ Would Blissberg mind playing bodyguard for a while?
When Cooley's streak ends shy of DiMaggio's record, the threats and hate mail continue, suggesting that there's more at stake than preserving a white man's supreme achievement. Blissberg follows the trail of clues back into the past, and finds that Moss is not the first Cooley man to be persecuted. A determined psychopath is out for Cooley's neck, and if he has to murder a few ex-ballplayers on the way - so be it.
Few baseball records are as sacrosanct as Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak. Suppose a black player were to challenge that mark. Given the hate mail sent to Hank Aaron as he surpassed Babe Ruth's home-run record, Rosen's (Strike Three, You're Dead) grim premise in this dark tale rings all too true: there's no field of dreams here. While the author knows his way around the ballpark, his story's disturbing force comes from its unflinching review of racism in America. As Moss Cooley, an African-American star of the fictitious Providence Jewels, mounts a hitting streak that stretches toward 50 consecutive games, the racist backlash intensifies. When he receives a cast-iron "lawn jockey," its head severed and a threatening note attached, team officials act quickly. They summon Harvey, a former Jewel, now a private eye, to safeguard Moss no easy feat: Moss's stalker seems to know their every move. Like a crafty pitcher keeping batters off balance, the author delivers unexpected plot twists that keep the reader guessing. His skillfully modulated dialogue encompasses locker room patois, broadcast banter and, when Harvey's investigation leads to Georgia, Southern drawls. While a few of Rosen's similes may miss the strike zone, far more hit the catcher's mitt with a resounding zing (when "the ball disappeared into his glove... it was as if the entire crowd had been shot dead"). Even fans in the bleachers, though, will notice the overreliance on coincidences, and the author's brand name dropping has as much appeal as a spitball.