Review: When a star pitcher on a minor league team is arrested for murder, private investigator (when he wants to be) Ronan Marino is hired to look into the circumstances surrounding the case in Chasing Curves, the second mystery in this series by Lloyd L. Corricelli.
Ronan played a bit of ball in college himself, and his buddy from those years, Chad "Sully" Sullivan, is managing the Lowell Spinners. Ty Wallace, thought to be a sure bet for the majors, has suddenly been off his game, distracted by something but unwilling to admit to it. In an effort to help, Ty's father hires Ronan to see if he can find out anything. Ronan follows Ty around on-and-off for a couple of days, the only incident worth noting being an argument with a woman. When that woman is found dead hours later, her neck broken and Ty's ID found at the crime scene, he is arrested. Ronan doesn't believe Ty is involved and uses his own family connections — and those of the local police — to identify a killer.
The narrative style of Chasing Curves matches the lead character's personality quite well: laid-back, easy-going, with occasional bouts of frenzied activity. The primary storyline is nicely developed with an interesting mix of characters, and provides an apt twist on the book's title (as in chasing life's curves is not unlike a batter chasing a pitcher's curveball … probably not the best use of limited resources). The baseball angle is somewhat minimal; probably enough to keep sports enthusiasts engaged but not so much that it takes over the story. The secondary plot, involving Ronan's personal (read romantic) life, is less successful, often intrusive and slightly offensive, and gives the book's title yet another, double entendre spin.
The author also does a fine job in depicting the upper Merrimack Valley of Massachusetts, and in particular Lowell, a historic small city trying to be relevant while overshadowed by a much larger city. The side-trips down to Boston, whether to attend a Red Sox game or to do some investigative work in Back Bay, add color.
Acknowledgment: Sons of Libery Publishing provided a copy of Chasing Curves for this review.
Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Chasing Curves: Lowell, Boston, Massachusetts
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Chasing Curves by Lloyd L. Corricelli — A Ronan Marino Mystery
Publisher: Sons of Liberty Publishing
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: June 2010
List Price: $17.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
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