A C. J. Floyd Mystery by Robert Greer
Review: As his summer vacation begins, Colorado State University basketball star Damion Flood aka "Blood" is looking forward to entering medical school after turning down a lucrative contract as an NBA professional. His best buddy, Shandell Bird, the "Blackbird" of the "Bird and Blood" duo, has signed a multi-million dollar contract with endorsements that will leave him set for life. But by summer's end when a university professor asks Flood what he did for his summer's vacation, Damion responds, "I tracked down the murderer of my best friend." It's a perfect summary for Robert Greer's hard-hitting novel of a behind-the-scenes look at two young men considering the pursuit of their careers, with one openly making the right decisions, the other ending up dead while trying to take his life-long secrets to the grave.
Although the novel is one in the CJ Floyd mysteries, the master bail bondsman is away on his honeymoon, leaving his partner, ex-marine Flora Jean Benson to look after the business and keep his godson Damion on the straight and narrow. It's no mean feat for Flora Jean as Damion sets about on a determined effort to find Bird's killer, sometimes enlisting her help, at others flying solo. As he follows the clues and tracks teammates, coaches and trainers, Blood discovers particulars he'd sooner not know about his former best friend, like allegations of points shaving, connections to gamblers, and suspicions of using and peddling performance enhancing drugs. And when it seems it can't get any worse, it does as Blood uncovers the worst secret of all for a professional male athlete, which raises additional allegations of blackmail and involves Bird's gold digging girlfriend, his manipulative dead-beat father, a college sports psychologist, various locker room hangers-on, a former Pulitzer prize-winning author and a gambling czar with an MBA and a sidekick with an itchy trigger finger. A midget hitman with a .30-06 makes a cameo appearance as well. Damion's team has its own heavy hitters, however, such as Flora Jean, and the 84-year-old Mafia Don and family friend, Mario Satoni and his enforcer "Pinkie," and Damion's lawyer mother, Julie, as well as the occasional bits of sage advice from the honeymooning, CJ Floyd. They all get their chance to play as Damion solves not only Bird's untimely farewell but a copycat killing as well before he heads on to his medical career.
An intriguing read with an authentic setting in college athletics, Blackbird, Farewell, racks up another winner for author Robert Greer.
Special thanks to M. Wayne Cunningham (firstname.lastname@example.org) for contributing his review of Blackbird, Farewell.
Acknowledgment: Caitlin Hamilton Marketing provided a copy of Blackbird, Farewell for this review.
Review Copyright © 2009 — M. Wayne Cunningham — All Rights Reserved
Reprinted with Permission
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Mongoose Deception
Frog. Ltd. (Hardcover), October 2007
ISBN-13: 9781583941928; ISBN-10: 1583941924
First of State
North Atlantic (Hardcover), October 2010
ISBN-13: 9781556439155; ISBN-10: 1556439156
Location(s) referenced in Blackbird, Farewell: Denver, Colorado
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Blackbird, Farewell by Robert Greer — A C. J. Floyd Mystery
Publisher: Frog. Ltd.
Publication Date: October 2008
List Price: $25.95