A ballplayer. A diva. The mob. Trouble, 1920s style.
Ace major league catcher Joe Rath suddenly finds himself riding the pine when team management decides they've got to have slugger Frank Walsh on the roster. Only, Walsh brings along more baggage than anybody bargains for.
Meanwhile, Rath's troubles multiply. With his wife already discontent back home, he keeps bumping into a certain breathtaking showgirl whose dangerous situation he can't ignore. A Chicago crime boss enters the picture, and things snowball.
Before he knows it, Rath finds himself not only running the base paths but also running for his life.
Hutchinson again successfully recreates the world of old-time baseball in his third America’s Pastime crime novel (after 2020’s Dead Ball: A Novel of Murder and Passion). In 1927, Baltimore Beacons catcher Joe Rath is at a crossroads in his professional and personal life. After Joe, a superior defensive player with a rocket of an arm, is benched for a new power-hitting teammate, he contemplates requesting a trade, though he doubts his wife, who already resents his being away from home for road games, would be happy moving, especially with their one-year-old son. With his mind preoccupied during a road trip, Joe allows two teammates to take him to a Chicago speakeasy, where he’s smitten by a torch singer, Amie Dawes. The guilt that induces is exacerbated when he learns Amie is considered the property of a gangster, and his efforts to help her result in a murder. Hutchinson never loses sight of his lead’s flaws, making engagement with his vicissitudes easy. Fans of Robert Goldsborough’s Three Strikes You’re Dead will be pleased. (Self-published)