Red Card: A Novel of World Cup 1994

Richard Hoyt, Author
Richard Hoyt, Author Forge $19.95 (253p) ISBN 978-0-312-85554-3
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-8125-3096-4
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A soccer mystery whose release coincides with the summer's World Cup competition seems a brave, smart shot. Hoyt ( Marimba ; Whoo? ) offers heaps of soccer lore, including the sport's history: the years of domination by Germany, Italy and Brazil, and the emergence of the defensive game. Here Edson, an elusive and skillful killer, arrives in Dallas the same day as the German team manager receives two yellow cards (in soccer, a yellow card is a warning from the referee) in the mail. After two German stars are expertly gunned down, red cards (meaning the player must leave the field) are received. The international soccer organization hires soccer-lover and former CIA operative James Burlane, aka Major Khartoum, to track the killer. Through his soccer-obsessed characters, Hoyt manages to educate as he entertains. Sometimes the explanations stall the pace, but in general the action moves briskly among Edson, Burlane and the teams. Whether the American reading public is ready for a soccer mystery may be determined by how the World Cup plays in the U.S. (June)
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