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Book Review: The Manager’s Daughter

If you are looking for a summer page turner, look no further than The Manager’s Daughter. Author Matthew Kastel combines the topics of baseball and murder mystery flawlessly in this book that keeps the reader guessing right up until the end.

The work follows the same mysterious cadence as The Da Vinci Code, as it tells bits of the story from different perspectives without revealing exactly what everyone is aware of.  This constantly leaves cliff hangers in the middle of paragraphs that forces the reader to keep going until that character is featured again to finish their thoughts.

The story actually centers not on a murder that happened recently, but one that occurred more than twenty years earlier. As you can probably tell by the title, the murder in question is that of a manager’s daughter. Set in Poughkeepsie, New Jersey, home of the Pioneers, the story winds its way through reconnecting teammates, managers, and others who worked for the pioneers all those years ago as the story of the murder resurfaces when a journalist discovers some inaccuracies in reports.

Martin Townbridge is the main character in the story. While there are many other characters in the journey who take hold of the story telling, the reader gains a real connection to Martin. In many ways, Martin is the underdog. He has worked hard his whole life and gotten very little from it. He grew in his profession and was now general manager of a Minor League team, but it was the only place he worked in his career, he worked about 100 hours a week during the season and the only reason he got the job is because his best friend had the job and stepped down to make tons of money in the investment world and basically set the table for him.

The characters that become main stays throughout the novel include Martin’s female assistant general manager, his best friend and his best friend’s wife, a Pioneer player from 25 years go who made it to the majors and became a star, another player from that time who became a drug dealer, a sexy young journalist attempting to make a name for herself, the head editor at the local paper, the manager and, of course, the manager’s daughter. These personalities combine for a story that makes mystery out of mystique and keeps the outcome of the story unclear until the very end.

Without giving too much of the story away, one should know that the death of the manager’s daughter is not the only murder that occurs in the book. In fact, many of the characters above end up getting killed, and not all by the same killer. In the end, the multitude of story lines flow perfectly and all intersect accordingly to not only lift the suspense but also layout the ending of the story of the characters who make it through the whole story without having the misfortune of being killed.

Once the story is resolved, a relaxing feeling comes over the reader as if they had actually been involved in the tense moments occurring in the pages. It evokes real emotions throughout the book and a smile will crawl across the reader’s face when they see how the author ends the novel. Neatly tying up all loose ends and making the bad guys stay in their place.

It’s hard to imagine anyone regretting reading this book and with summer now arriving. For baseball fans who like to read, this novel is the perfect accompaniment to a relaxing summer day or evening (assuming the ballgame isn’t on of course).

Total rating: 5/5

 

Note:  the author of the book contacted Baseball Reflections for the review. This is a common occurrence. In order to illustrate that not all baseball novels receive rave reviews, please read the other reviews on record on the site.

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