Sports fans are the most loyal of factions. They back their teams and follow them all the way. Even when they are playing poorly, the ardent fans continue to root them on. As with all types of celebrity, whether sports personalities or others in the limelight, there is also the possibility of that fandom to become adoration and even obsession.
In Three Strikes and You’re Dead by Michael A. Draper we follow a tense situation as a baseball strike is underway. Differing chat rooms echo with dismay and even anger. Often money is the driving factor in the talks, and, as with all sports, a great deal of figures are being overpaid. When someone decides to stir the pot even stronger, they have an active audience of potential targets. At least one of those who cross the line from fan to obsession is bound to drop out.
America’s pastime has suddenly gained fame for another reason. Bobby Chapel is the first to die. His star is just rising. Life has just opened the door to a lucrative future, and he is set to make his mark. Lured from his home town team by the prospect of more money, he seems to be the most likely choice to make a statement. When Bobby is found dead in his hotel room, electrocuted in the hot tub, the scene is set. As the perpetrator finalizes his work, he wonders what his special friend from the internet chat will think of his work. Humming a tune, he cleans up his mess and scatters a pack of baseball cards to set the stage. Knowing this is only the beginning, he leaves his grisly work and heads home to decide where he goes next. For him this is now his calling, and he will make the greedy players sorry for ever deceiving their fans.
Roseanne Kelly, Randy Larkin and Graham Dunne, having found success in finding the murderer of Roseanne’s husband, are now in the business of investigation. The death of a baseball player seems to be the perfect foil for the start-up of their new business. With the FBI already on the case, can they convince the baseball commission of their own abilities? With Roseanne in the lead not only can they, but they do, with the backing of their new agency chief, Fraser “Pete” Peterson. Can they help the FBI to corral the killer before another player dies?
Draper has taken the headlines of a baseball strike and infused it with the obsession of someone willing to create chaos and use others to do his bidding. Killing the players takes his protagonist one step further in a plan to create pandemonium, and fear. Surfing the net to find those on the fringe, he is able to quickly adapt to their own personal needs. Money is the international language, and he hits a home run immediately. His killer is clever and somewhat connected so the action is perfect.
If you enjoy suspense and action this you will find it in Three Strikes and You’re Dead. If you enjoy sleuthing than you will find this team of PI’s fun and energetic with both humor and bravado.
This would be a great book for a reading club or discussion group. The idea of celebrity, fans and obsessions would create a great deal of information and ideas to debate.