By: Linda Gould
Publication Date: February 2010
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: July 2, 2010
Let’s Play Ball opens high above a baseball field, in a luxury suite where Miranda Stone, her husband Thomas, her parents and her twin sister Jessica are among the guests gathered to watch a National League championship game between the hometown Washington Filibusters and the Florida Keys. While the various conversations taking place within the suite among the rich and powerful are heated and loud, Miranda is more interested in her husband Thomas and his annoying way of ignoring her. Meanwhile, Jessica is fixated on her fiancé, Manny Chavez, a rising star on the hometown team, who is down on the field, ready to play.
From the outside, Miranda’s life seems pretty nice – with a good job and a handsome lawyer for a husband but in truth, her three-year marriage to Thomas is faltering. Looking at her sister Jessica, she can’t help but feel a little bit of jealousy. Jessica has sacrificed much over the years to build a magazine and now that hard work is paying off. To top it off, Jessica is engaged to a hunky baseball star who is deeply in love with her.
Miranda’s jealousy is quickly changed to concern when Manny disappears after the game. What happened to him? Did he go out with some friends and forget to tell Jessica? Or is something more sinister involved? Miranda comes to her sister’s aid and together they work to solve the mystery. But there is far more going on both on and off the ball field so once the mystery of Manny’s disappearance is solved, the story is just getting started. Before long, Miranda is dragged into a plot that involves a Cuban-US confrontation and a southern militia group that could lead all the way to the White House.
Without giving too much of the story away, the plot entwines numerous greedy and self-centered characters into its pages. With so many people working to best their own interests, there are many possible theories to what might be going on. This in turn keeps the reader guessing as to the true culprit(s). Several strong female characters kept the story moving briskly – Guadalupe Ramirez was my absolute favorite. The first wife of Manny Chavez, she was once a beautiful model who never cared for anybody but herself; even the couple’s adorable son Bobby was ignored by Guadalupe until she had a use for him. She’s a character you’re going to love to hate. When a catfight breaks out between her and two other characters, the claws come out in force and it’s anybody’s guess who will win.
When I first received Let’s Play Ball for review, I wasn’t sure if I was the right person for the assignment. After all, while I enjoy baseball, I’m not obsessed with the game and this book centered around the sport. But boy was I wrong and if you’re not sure if a book featuring baseball will be interesting, take my advice and start reading! You’ll quickly be drawn into a world of intrigue and won’t be able to put the book down until you turn the last page.
Quill says: Mystery, suspense, several very strong female characters and a looming Cuban-US crisis make Let’s Play Balla great read for both fans of baseball and lovers of a good, smart read.
For more information on Let's Play Ball, please visit the publisher's website at: Chickreads.com