The Draft

Wil Mara, Author . St. Martin's/Dunne $23.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-312-35929-4

Off-field maneuvering takes center stage in the prolific Mara's tepid behind-the-scenes take on professional football. Jon Sabino, the general manager of the back-to-back Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens, is a front-office genius, but even he's stumped when the team's star quarterback is seriously injured in a car crash just two weeks before the annual college draft. Under pressure to capture a historic third consecutive Super Bowl title, Sabino has to put together a deal to secure the first pick in the draft and take the can't-miss quarterback from Michigan, Christian McKinley. Mara (Wave and many biographies) juggles several subplots—a rival GM who hates Sabino and recruits a disgruntled employee to spy on him, a gifted young quarterback who spurns the NFL because of what once happened to his father's promising football career and a star receiver who's self-medicating to hide an injury—that eventually merge into a sappy denouement. The novel has its moments of tension and drama, but they're undercut by uninspired prose (one character is "faintly aware" twice on the same page) and paper-thin characters. (Oct. 27)

Reviewed on: 08/21/2006
Release date: 10/01/2006
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 304 pages - 978-0-312-94779-8
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4668-5916-6
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