Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lethal Play

By Loretta Giacoletto
$2.99 at www.smashwords.com

Francesca Canelli never was the stereotypical soccer mom, even though the center of family life was son Matt’s aspiration to play for the top club team in St. Louis. She had zero feel for the game and, if possible, even less interest in schmoozing with the other parents.

But when Matt’s soccer-nut father Ben is fatally struck by a van on an early morning jog, Francesca tries to pick up the slack, doing everything she can – and that turns out to be an outrageously big “everything” – to support her son.

The team, Pegasi, is coached by Rex Meredith, and no more loathsome individual ever walked a sideline. He uses his team’s success to extort everything from medical services to appliances to sex from the soccer parents, and even players.

When Rex’s body is found hanging from the soccer goal crossbar, naked but for socks, not even his widow is heartbroken. Was it suicide? It’s possible but unlikely. Francesca Canelli, who may have had ample reason to murder Rex, certainly couldn’t have put him in that position by herself. But with an accomplice…? Disaffected players cannot be overlooked. And what about the Canelli family friend who took over the team after Meredith’s death?

Det. Guy Winchester and Lt. Sam Reardan, assisted by Juvenile Officer Quinella Armstrong, are on the case but seem to find no one who has a credible story. (I don’t know whether Giacoletto thought through the fact that Armstrong is typically referred to by her first name, while the male detectives are identified by their last.)

Eventually the case appears to be nicely wrapped up, ending a little more cleanly than one might desire. Thankfully, though, that conclusion is no more satisfying to Reardan and Winchester, so they continue to probe.

Lethal Play has plenty of complexity to keep readers off-guard. Giacoletto has created characters the reader can pull for or against and also recognize. It’s a good read, and we look forward to seeing other books from her.

Click here to link to Lethal Play.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks. I appreciate the positive review and your taking the time to write a thorough perspective.