Monday, March 21, 2016

Review: Double Switch

Summary: Johnny Adcock, the aging major-league relief pitcher who moonlights as a private investigator, returns in the thrilling follow-up to The Setup Man.

Johnny Adcock doesn’t have an office; he has the bullpen. That’s where he’s sitting shelling sunflower seeds after a game, when up walks Tiff Tate, the enigmatic, career-making PR/stylist behind the most highly marketable looks in baseball. Tiff needs Adcock’s special brand of expertise. Her new client is Yonel Ruiz, the rookie phenom who courageously risked life and limb in shark-infested waters to flee his native Cuba for fame, fortune, and freedom in Major League Baseball. Now that Ruiz has signed a record-setting contract, the Venezuelan cartel that smuggled him out is squeezing him for a bigger slice of the action and they’ve unleashed a ruthless assassin, known only as La Loba, to collect. Adcock takes the case, even though the front office wants to shut down his side job and has sent its no-nonsense corporate fixer and “director of security” to keep a close eye on him. Adcock is immediately swept up in a high-pressure game full of surprising twists, double crosses, and deadly gambits that will leave him fighting for his life and in danger of losing more than the heat off his fastball or a spot in the playoffs.

Critics raved about The Setup Man: “A sexy mystery with a rakish lead” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel), “This rookie thriller writer has homered his first time at bat” (The Free Lance-Star), and “Teems with sex, violence—and baseball . . . Monday deserves promotion to the starting rotation of thriller writers” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch). Double Switch proves that Johnny Adcock is one of the genre’s most entertaining detectives in years, and gives readers a welcome return to the sexy, action-packed, and thrilling world where high-stakes professional sports and life-or-death action collide. -- Doubleday

I can credit my love of baseball to my father and grandfather. They were loyal Pittsburgh Pirate fans for decades... even when it was pretty hard to stand by those teams. Maybe that's the reason that the novel DOUBLE SWITCH by T.T. Monday appealed to me. It combined two things I enjoy -- baseball and a mystery!

DOUBLE SWITCH features Johnny Adcock, a major-league relief pitches who is nearing the end of his career. While he loves baseball, he also enjoys spending his free time as an investigator. He's helped fellow players discover their cheating wives, and he's getting quite the reputation as someone who can solve crimes too.

And that's how Tiff Tate, a PR/stylist for baseball players, enters the picture. Tiff seeked out Adcock to help her with her new client Yonel Ruiz, a phenom hitter who escaped his homeland of Cuba by swimming in shark-infested waters. Ruiz has just signed a HUGE contract and the Venezuelan cartel who helped smuggle him out of Cuba wants what they consider their fair share! They have even made it clear that their assassin, La Loba, wants to collect.

Adcock can't say no... and frankly, he loves the thrill of the case! Unfortunately, the head of security for Major League Baseball doesn't want him involved in this and ends up following his actions pretty closely. Can Adcock help Tiff and Ruiz while also balancing a fine act with his higher-ups? Can Adcock solve the mystery before his life and career are in jeopardy?

I really enjoyed DOUBLE SWITCH. It was a quick read and I have to say that it exceeded my expectations. I liked Johnny Adcock's character and the mystery had quite a few twists and turns. I also appreciated getting an inside look at baseball. Overall, it was an entertaining mystery!

Adcock is an interesting character. He's a bit of a rogue and definitely has some of the stereotypes that I associate with professional ball players. He's quite the lady's man and some of his actions might offend a few readers; however, I really liked him. He's funny and smart, and I love the idea that a professional ball-player moonlights as a detective.

I was also pretty impressed with the mystery aspect of the novel. It was well-planned and was even a little more complex that I thought it would be. There were quite a few surprises along the way, and there were even a few suspenseful scenes. All in all, a well-constructed mystery!

I only had one issue with DOUBLE SWITCH, and it's not really a knock on the book. DOUBLE SWITCH is the second novel in a series and I had no idea until I started reading the book. It's not that I never pick up a series halfway through -- I've gotten past that; however, when there is only one book (which introduces the character and the series), I would have liked to start with it. That's not to say that DOUBLE SWITCH didn't work as a stand-alone, because it did. I would have just liked to start at the beginning.

Johnny Adcock is a great detective character and DOUBLE SWITCH was a well-written novel. I look forward to more from this series! Definitely recommended to mystery and baseball fans.

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this book.

Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

That looks like a good mystery series. My dad loved baseball too, but he was a Phillies fan.