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Book Review: A Deadly Game

As baseball novels go, the world is full of stories of a regular guy who all of a sudden makes it big or a kid with an amazing arm. Gary Lepper’s new work, A Deadly Game, breaks from that mold to provide baseball fanatics a murder mystery that keeps the reader intrigued from beginning to end.

To be honest, at first, I wasn’t too intrigued by the book because it was heralded as having a story that revolves around fantasy baseball. While I will certainly dabble in the fantasy baseball world now and then, I have never been able to get into the shows or magazines dedicated to the subject. To my surprise, while fantasy baseball plays a big role in the book, not much time is spent on it. For instance, the reader doesn’t spend a chapter reading about a fantasy draft or anything like that.

The main character of the story is David Kenmuir. Kenmuir has an interesting background. He’s a former cop who fought in the Vietnam War, who is now a lawyer who is divorced from his first wife…and that’s just the tip of the ice burg. He’s one tough cookie who shows his ability to take down bad guys with his war training in many tough spots he finds himself caught in during the book.

One of the book jacket quotes claims the book had an intricate plot, and that is an understatement. The reader really does need to pay full attention to keep up with all of the characters, most of whom play bit parts in the elaborate mystery. With half a dozen victims of violence at minimum, and murder at worst, it does seem the reader may need a chart to keep up with the mounting tally of characters in the book.

Kenmuir ends up working with the cops, front office personnel from Major League Baseball teams, the FBI, leaders of the mafia and not to mention the most prominent fantasy baseball computer programmers in the country. All of these interactions and characters intertwine to help Kenmuir solve the mystery he has been contacted to assist with. Even though Kenmuir gets removed from the case from the baseball executive, and friend, who originally contacted him, he pushes on with a personal vendetta to find the answer to the plot.

Just as with many things in life, once Kenmuir is able to follow the money, he starts piecing together the puzzle that leads him to save a mob boss from sure death and confront an old army buddy of his for playing a role in manipulating the fantasy baseball world.

There are a few points in the book where the reader wonders how what is currently going on has anything to do with the plot, as it seems completely unrelated at the time, but it all comes back around at the end as every piece falls neatly into place.

The 379 work is a quick read and stays entertaining throughout. While some novels take a while for the reader to warm up to, this one gets the job done fairly quickly. The book would be perfect to occupy a mystery loving baseball fan on a long cross country flight or as a summer vacation read.

The work was published in 2016 by Phosphenes and can be purchased on Amazon for $10.99 in paperback or $3.99 for Kindle.

Baseball Reflections Rating: 4/5

(Reviewer’s Note: If searching for the book online, please make sure you purchase the book by Gary Lepper. There is another book by the same name that will come up on Amazon about the Scott Peterson Investigation. They are clearly not related.)

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