Dead to Rights

Anna Maxes, Author St. Martin's Press $20.95 (245p) ISBN 978-0-312-10449-8
A timely subject--the high, even deadly, competitiveness of women's sports--sharpens the edge of this athletically paced first novel. Regina Lichtmann, chief investigator for the College and University Athletic Association (CUAA), is in the stands when a four-time national champion softball team is unexpectedly defeated by Burleigh College, a lower-division school. One of the stars on the losing team collapses after the game and is taken to a San Diego hospital. Reggie, already curious about the upstart team, which, unlike most of Burleigh's student body, is made up mostly of minority students, is further troubled by the unsympathetic attitude displayed in a TV interview by Burleigh's coach, a diminutive but hard-as-nails woman. Wangling an assignment to write up the coach's success, Reggie's research leads her to an inner-city social worker who may be taking money for linking disadvantaged high-school athletes with colleges eager to improve their sports programs. The students' educations aren't fostered; they are expected only to play hard and stay eligible until they are replaced by other hopeful recruits. In the process of uncovering this scandal, Reggie also solves the nearly perfect murder of the athlete whose death started the search. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/30/1994
Release date: 06/01/1994
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