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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Three Strikes and You're More Than Out--You're Dead!

Three Strikes and You're Dead;Three Strikes and You're Dead; by Michael A. Draper
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Do you love baseball? Do you think it is priced out of the reach of families? Are the players overpayed? How about that baseball strike back a few years ago? Can you imagine the nerve of those guys? What can we do about it? Isn't there someway to send a message to those pampered, spoiled, drug abusing, woman dissing, prima donas? How about we kill a couple of them off to get their attention? Anybody out there who feels the same way?

A chat room, a lonely, slightly off kilter guy, and a manipulating watcher who sees his chance to gain some attention. The stage is set for a thriller that keeps you and a special investigative team busily trying to determine where and when the next baseball star will be eliminated to make a point. Not only when and where but also how the next star will be dispatched.

The story moves back and forth between the three person team--a young widow, her brother and her deceased husband's best friend who has fallen in love with her and the perp. Their interaction with their long suffering mentor, Pete, is quite amusing since he is so technically illiterate and is fighting their use of iPhones and computers, tooth and nail. There is also interaction with various law enforcement agencies that seems to belie the common belief that there is never any cooperation among them.

So far at the diabolical methodology of the Vindicator, as the murderer has chosen to identify himself in the chat room, is blood curdling. Not only are the demises of the players horrific but the possibility of such behavior in reality is mind-numbing. The Advocate, the manipulator, is even more cold-blooded for he seems to be not only educated but also mentally competent, unlike the misfit he has chosen as his henchman.

If I have any complaint at all, the ending seems so anticlimactic. After all the action and sleuthing, there is a let down in the way the perps are caught and brought to justice. It is, however, satisfying that they are. The last minute revelation of the contact the Advocate has in house does not ring as true as the rest of the story, nor does there seem to be any stated resolution to that revelation. This is a minor fault, in an otherwise enjoyable read.

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